EghtesadOnline: According to agreements between Iran and Armenia at the 16th session of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission in Tehran last month, it was decided that the third electricity transmission line project between the two countries should be completed by the end of 2020, deputy energy minister for international affairs said.
Referring to the progress the project has made, Muhammad Ali Farahnakian said work needs to be accelerated so that the project can be completed as schedule, the Energy Ministry news portal Paven reported.
Armenia exports 350 megawatts of electricity to Iran per year now. Upon completion of the third line, the capacity will exceed 1,000 MW.
The new line is designed to significantly increase Armenian electricity exports to Iran that is paid with natural gas. The project is estimated to cost $121 million, Financial Tribune reported.
Armenia has no proven reserves of oil or gas and imports almost all its gas from Russia. The Iran-Armenia gas pipeline (140 km) has the potential to provide energy security for Armenia as an alternative to the Russian imports that flow through the Georgian border.
Referring to bilateral ties, Farahnakian said: "We should draw on mutual economic advantages to increase trade between the two sides, and use Armenia's potential as a gateway for Iran's entry into the Eurasian Economic Union”.
Iran has said the capacity of gas supply to Armenia can increase and can be undertaken in exchange for goods.
Iran and Armenia have been cooperating for years in gas and electricity swap, and two-way economic and political ties have grown in tandem with increase in trade.
Based on a contract signed in 2004, Iran supplies gas to Armenia and imports electricity in exchange. Iran's natural gas is used by Armenian power plants to generate electricity that is exported back to Iran.
Tehran receives 3.2 kilowatt-hours of electricity from Yerevan in exchange for 1 cubic meter of natural gas.
Armenia is interested in boosting natural gas imports from Iran and receiving up to 600,000 cubic meters more of the clean fuel from the current one million cubic meters per day.
The new power line will further strengthen trade between the two countries and even Georgia could benefit from the third electricity transmission line.
The 279 kilometers-long 400 kV power transmission line will make it possible for Iran's power grid to connect to Turkey’s power grid via Georgia and Armenia.