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Armenia's Economic Pulse

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  • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

    Originally posted by Tigranakert View Post
    Gegev, how many American companies have factories in Armenia? I also bet enough factories owned by Armenians are in a worse state than that of ArmenAL. I also know enough Armenians in Russia who own factories, whose ethnic Russian employees also demand higher wages. Amazing isn't it?
    Thus you suggest Armenians: get satisfied with poor living conditions, because some people somewhere in Africa/ Haiti/Russia are in worst situation.
    I see you are very happy with your subsistence level wage there, and haughtily advise Armenians in Armenia to refrain from protesting to get below the subsistence level ones. Note please that the Russians, in average, get about 4 times higher wages ($1,000).

    I appreciate the fact that you are that successful! But please don’t ask me that haughty questions.
    Last edited by gegev; 01-26-2010, 12:02 AM.


    • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

      Demanding higher wages is healthy and improving the working condition is too, but ArmenAL is an Armenian company whose owners are Russians, but the ethnicity of them has nothing to do with this subject.

      In Europe and other developed countries, the government must create laws on what the minimum-wage should be, laws for improving the conditions of employees, and a lot more.


      • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

        Originally posted by Tigranakert View Post
        Demanding higher wages is healthy and improving the working condition is too, but ArmenAL is an Armenian company whose owners are Russians, but the ethnicity of them has nothing to do with this subject.

        In Europe and other developed countries, the government must create laws on what the minimum-wage should be, laws for improving the conditions of employees, and a lot more.
        FYI: All countries support/protect their citizens and company subsidiaries abroad. And when needed they may exert pressure on the country: their citizens, companies (company subsidiaries) complain with. Especially corrupt and powerful governments: they may take, as a bribe, some of the wage increase money and "settle" the issue forever.

        My stand is not anti-Russian. I’m a proponent of the fair-Russian treatment of Armenia.

        And who do you think, out of Armenia, will oppose most, if our government would suggest setting up higher minimal-wage limit?
        Last edited by gegev; 01-26-2010, 05:04 AM.


        • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

          All the employers who own factories will complain, just like in Europe. They must sit at the table and discuss both their views (employers and employees), it does not matter if the company is owned by Russians, by Armenians or by the French, we do not have to look at someones ethnicity.


          • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

            Here is something for gegev. Of course he will not disappoint us, and will surely find something to complain about in regards to this article.

            Moscow Mayor Signals Support For Yerevan Redevelopment

            MOSCOW (RFE/RL)–Moscow’s longtime Mayor Yuri Luzhkov expressed on Friday his readiness to attract large-scale Russian investments in a massive redevelopment project in Yerevan unveiled by the Armenian authorities during his visit to Armenia.

            It emerged that the authorities plan to build an upscale residential and financial district in place of a rundown neighborhood perched on a hill just outside the city center. Armenian officials spoke of billions of dollars needed for making those plans a reality.

            Possible Russian involvement in the extremely ambitious project appeared to have dominated Luzhkov’s talks with Yerevan Mayor Gagik Beglarian. The two men headed to the Noragyugh neighborhood covering about 200 hectares of land after the talks.

            “These proposals are very impressive. In the event of their implementation, a wonderful residential, business and cultural neighborhood will emerge in this location,” Luzhkov told journalists after inspecting the site and familiarizing himself with the architectural design of the buildings that would replace Noragyugh’s mostly ramshackle houses.

            Luzhkov, who has presided over a massive post-Soviet construction boom in Moscow, said one of his deputies will visit Yerevan with a group of Russian investors in mid-March for more detailed talks with Armenian officials. “I think they will find interesting solutions and interesting proposals on the construction,” he said.

            “The place is good, the project is very reasonable and good … We will therefore pay quite serious attention to this project,” added the influential mayor.

            Luzhkov, whose wife reportedly owns one of Russia’s largest construction companies, was already prepared to estimate the approximate costs involved. “Freeing up this hill and resettling people will cost more than $100 million, and every building to be constructed there, if it is going to be big, will cost from $40 million to $60 million,” he said. “I think at least 50 such structures should be built in this place.”

            Yerevan’s chief architect, Samvel Danielian, came up with an even more whopping estimate: at least $6 billion. The figure is equivalent to more than two-thirds of Armenia’s Gross Domestic Product in 2009.

            “We plan to build here Yerevan’s new international center,” Danielian told journalists. “There will be a cultural section, a business section. The main foreign embassies will be represented here with their cultural missions. There will also be residential construction.”

            Danielian added that the municipal authorities are already making plans for relocating some 1,500 families presently living in Noragyugh. All of them are to be resettled in new apartment blocks elsewhere in Yerevan, he said.

            “We will do everything to make sure that the residents relocate with joy,” said Beglarian. “Remember this.”

            The Armenian capital and especially its center have already undergone considerable redevelopment over the past decade. The process has been marred by forcible expulsions of hundreds of families unhappy with the meager government compensations for their properties.

            The construction boom, fuelled by soaring real estate prices, was a major driving force behind Armenia’s double-digit economic growth that came to an end in late 2008. The Armenian construction sector has been hit particularly hard by the ensuing recession, contracting by over 36 percent in 2009. Many of the luxury apartments build in recent years have yet to find buyers.

            URL to article:
            For the first time in more than 600 years, Armenia is free and independent, and we are therefore obligated
            to place our national interests ahead of our personal gains or aspirations.



            • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

              Originally posted by Armanen View Post
              Here is something for gegev. Of course he will not disappoint us, and will surely find something to complain about in regards to this article.
              I my last post I expressed dissatisfaction/complain of my/your fellow compatriots that were striking to get fair wages. But the news you posted is good one, if it is not just another good dream and will be carried out in fact, I appriciate, thanks.
              Last edited by gegev; 01-29-2010, 10:06 PM.


              • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                Sohigian: Listening to the Wind of Change: Renewable Energy in Armenia
                By Jason Sohigian
                January 30, 2010

                The Armenian Weekly
                January 2010 Magazine

                A 2 kW photovoltaic station assembled and laminated by specialists at
                the State Engineering University of Armenia was installed on the roof
                of St. Sarkis Church in Yerevan (Photo source: EU-Armenia Web Portal
                on Renewable Energy)
                Armenia relies on a diverse mix of energy resources, and renewables
                present a range of challenges, strategic advantages, and market
                opportunities. In 2009 alone, the World Bank announced an investment
                of $1.5 million to assess sites with geothermal potential and
                Armenbrok OJSC announced an initial public offering to raise $9
                million to construct three hydropower plants in Nagorno-Karabagh.
                Nuclear power, natural gas, and hydropower have been analyzed to a
                large extent, so this analysis is focused on the market opportunities
                and strategic advantages of solar and wind in the context of Armenia's
                overall energy situation. Domestic fuel resources are hydropower,
                nuclear power, wind power, fuelwood, and solar and geothermal power,
                while natural gas consumed in the energy and other sectors is imported
                from Russia. In 2005, 42 percent of the energy consumed was generated
                by the Medzamor Nuclear Power Plant, 30 percent was produced by
                hydropower and wind, and 28 percent was generated by thermal power
                plants fueled by imported natural gas and coal. Armenia does not have
                any significant domestic fossil fuel reserves, so the natural gas for
                the thermal power plants and Armenia's gas-powered vehicles is
                imported via pipeline through Georgia. The supply has been disrupted
                for political and economic reasons over the past 15 years, but there
                is a new pipeline under construction in the south which is expected to
                open up an alternative source of gas from Iran.

                Medzamor NPP is an important part of the country's energy system,
                although the plant is scheduled to shut down in 2016. The European
                Union and United States have pressured Armenia to close the plant, but
                the government has refused over energy security concerns. In fact, the
                government issued a tender in 2009 for a new plant that would likely
                be a safer third generation design. In the meantime, Armenia imports
                nuclear fuel from Russia, so energy is dependent on the cost of
                uranium and natural gas which may fluctuate according to economic and
                geopolitical factors in the region. The basic principles of the Energy
                Sector Development Strategy adopted by the government in 2005 are
                achieving sustainable economic development, enhancing energy
                independence, and ensuring efficient use of domestic and alternative
                sources of energy. Overall the energy security plan is based on
                renewables and conservation, nuclear energy, and diversification of

                The capacity of the Pushkin Pass wind farm is 2.64 MW and it comprises
                four 660 kW Vestas wind turbines (Photo source: Implementation of the
                Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism in Armenia)
                The analysis of Armenia's energy situation is done at the national
                level and accounts for power plant production, but it rarely factors
                the use of fuelwood for heating and cooking among the population,
                which is quite common. A national survey conducted by the Turpanjian
                Center for Policy Analysis in 2007 revealed that 30 percent of the
                population uses fuelwood for heating or cooking. This is significant
                since a study published in International Forestry Review reported only
                eight percent forest cover, so a comprehensive energy strategy should
                address sustainable forestry.

                In addition to the absence of domestic fossil fuel supplies and
                subsequent reliance on imported fuel that fluctuates in price and
                availability, the driving factor behind Armenia's energy policy is an
                understanding that as economic development advances there will be
                increasing demand for energy. Armenia's GDP has grown at an average of
                10 percent over the last several years, and energy demand will
                increase as the population becomes more affluent and urbanized.
                Therefore, a proactive policy is a positive step to ensure that
                efficiency and renewable technologies are an integral part of the
                energy mix.

                Solar Market Potential

                Armenia began thinking about energy independence after the 1988
                earthquake, when Kenell Touryan was approached at the U.S. National
                Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado about the potential for
                bringing renewable energy to Armenia.

                Yerevan State University and the State Engineering University of
                Armenia have been working on photovoltaic (PV) cells for 25 years, a
                Solar Institute was working on wind and solar hot water, and Armenia
                had experience with wind turbine assembly, according to Dr. Kenell
                Touryan who is now vice president of research and development at the
                American University of Armenia. As part of a nonproliferation program,
                the U.S.

                A significant percentage of Armenia's vehicle fleet are powered by
                natural gas, which burns cleaner than petroleum fuel. (Photo by Jason
                Department of Energy funded research by former Soviet weapons
                specialists in the 1990's to do research and development in renewable
                energy that could be commercialized.

                Currently, SunEnergy LLC and SolarEn LLC are selling solar thermal
                units for buildings, the Viasphere Technopark is working on a PV
                tracking system, the State Engineering University of Armenia is
                working on a PV cell coating technology, and a California-based
                company is funding research to manufacture its PV system in Armenia,
                according to Touryan.

                Dr. Artak Hambarian, who is associate director of the Engineering
                Research Center, began working on a rooftop solar monitoring station
                at AUA in 1995, and a Solar Driven Desiccant Cooling Demonstration
                System (DESODEC) was designed and installed soon after. The project
                involved the collaboration of scientists from Portugal, Germany,
                Russia, and Armenia.

                The 40 kW solar hot water project got SolarEn LLC started building its
                own panels, and it uses a desiccant cooling system to cool a 154-seat
                auditorium in the summer. Desiccant cooling has been in use since the
                1960's, but the unique thing about this installation is that a 5 kW PV
                system provides the necessary electricity. In this system, the air is
                pumped through a chamber of several desiccant wheels which use a gel
                to remove humidity and have the capacity to lower air temperature from
                100 degrees to 60 degrees F. `It is more efficient and comparable in
                cost to a chiller system,' emphasizes Hambarian.

                The two-wing PV array relies on eight batteries that are each six
                volts to store power, and the roof support structure spans across
                three rooftops using a structure that is flexible for earthquake
                protection. Currently the largest array in Armenia, the PV system was
                installed in 2004 and it produces just over 5 kW of power from 72
                80-watt panels. The panels were manufactured by experts from the State
                Engineering University and American University of Armenia.

                A 2009 market study by Danish Energy Management indicates that Armenia
                has proven experience in PV technologies and significant deposits of
                raw materials for developing a local technological chain. This
                extensive study co-authored by SolarEn LLC points out that the
                existence of a wide variety of siliceous raw material of various types
                and morphology, local experience in PV technologies, and a highly
                competitive research and development potential give Armenia a
                comparative advantage in this sector.

                `From the various PV technologies analyzed, [a] few can be considered
                ready and some of those can be applicable for PV industry development
                in Armenia. Technological chains based on local raw materials and
                existing infrastructure can offer a certain degree of competitive
                advantage for investors. Today in Armenia a number of companies and
                organization exist that can help jump-start the PV industry
                development,' notes the report optimistically.

                Wind Market Potential

                The National Renewable Energy Laboratory developed a map of wind power
                resources for Armenia in 2003, in collaboration with SolarEn LLC. This
                analysis assesses a wind power potential of 4,900 MW from seven sites
                that cover an area of 979 sq. km. This corresponds to an area of three
                percent of the territory of Armenia that is limited to remote
                mountainous passes at an elevation of 2,000 m. or higher. Armenia's
                Energy Sector Development Strategy of 2005 includes a series of
                renewable targets to reach by 2025 that include 595 MW of hydropower,
                500 MW of wind, and 25 MW of geothermal. The Energy Law of the
                Republic of Armenia also guarantees the purchase of 100 percent of
                electricity generated from renewable energy sources including wind
                from licensed entities for 15 years.An analysis by Ara Marjanyan
                estimates that the addition of 500 MW of grid-connected wind power to
                achieve the national goal by 2025 would require an investment of
                US$870 million to $1 billion.

                According to Dr. Vardan Sargsyan of the State University of Economics,
                the economically viable capacity for wind energy is comparable with
                nuclear in Armenia. During a 2006 NATO conference in Istanbul on
                energy, sustainable development, and environmental security, Sargsyan
                indicated that the government is planning to generate 10 percent of
                its electricity from wind power by 2025, and that several prospective
                sites have been identified.

                In 2005, the first in wind farm in the South Caucasus was put into
                operation at Pushkin Pass in northern Armenia. The total installed
                capacity of the farm is 2.64 MW and the `Lori 1' project comprises
                four 660 kW Vestas wind turbines. The wind farm was funded by a $3.1
                million grant from the government of Iran, which is also working on a
                natural gas pipeline and hydropower station along the border of the
                two countries.

                Negotiations are underway with international investors to expand the
                `Lori 1' wind farm at Pushkin Pass. The project was initiated in 2002
                with the support of the Ministry of Economy of the Netherlands and the
                total installed capacity was intended to be 19.5 MW, using 23 turbines
                with 850 kW of rated power and a total anticipated cost of $37

                Dr. Ara Marjanyan, who is the Renewable Energy Project coordinator of
                the Armenia Renewable Resources and Energy Efficiency Fund, outlined a
                series of outstanding financial and policy issues that are necessary
                for Armenia to achieve its renewable energy targets for wind. First,
                consistent with the tariff procedure for small hydropower, wind
                tariffs should be fixed so developers can perform project feasibility
                analyses for a typical project life span of 20-25 years.

                Second, the initial costs of wind power projects may be reduced by
                lowering the burden of the value added tax (VAT) on imported equipment
                for renewable energy projects, since there is no local manufacturing
                of modern wind turbines in Armenia. Currently the cost of wind
                turbines are approximately 60-80 percent of the total initial cost of
                a wind project, and the VAT in Armenia would subject this to a 20
                percent tax.

                According to Touryan, there is a high level of international interest
                in investing in wind power projects in Armenia, and he cites proposals
                from Germany, England, Sweden, Italy, and Greece who are investigating
                claims to the top rated sites for wind power potential. `The
                government is interested, and there are trained engineers that can
                work on it,' states Touryan, who added that they are discussing
                incentive programs with the government to finance wind and other
                renewable energy programs.


                Given Armenia's lack of fossil fuel reserves and its economic and
                geopolitical circumstances, its national leadership seems to
                appreciate the importance of the renewable energy sector and has
                adopted an `Energy Sector Development Strategy in the Context of
                Economic Development in Armenia.'

                The underlying principle is the understanding that as the country
                develops and the standard of living improves, the economy will become
                more energy intensive even while pursuing energy efficiency measures.

                As studies in solar and wind power demonstrate, there is a high level
                of scientific expertise in the country that has already been working
                on renewable energy technologies. Currently organizations such as the
                Armenia Renewable Resources and Energy Efficiency Fund (R2E2) are
                developing feasibility studies and offering preferential financing in
                a revolving loan fund to attract investors in this sector, according
                to R2E2 director Tamara Babayan.

                At the same time, experts are working to improve the regulatory and
                economic conditions to nurture the development of the renewable energy
                sector through tax incentives, reviews of tariff structures and
                methods, and legislation that demonstrates a commitment on the part of
                the government to incorporate clean technology into the energy system.

                Already, Armenia uses renewables to a large extent, primarily with
                hydropower that meets 30 percent of the country's electricity needs.
                While wind is competitive in the U.S. with power from traditional
                sources of fuel, in Armenia hydropower is competitive because it
                benefits from existing tax and tariff incentives.

                Solar and wind power are at an earlier stage of development than
                hydropower, and it is likely that similar incentives will be made
                available to project developers in these sectors. Research and
                development in solar technology is at an advanced stage and the
                current goal is to create a manufacturing infrastructure for domestic
                consumption and an export industry for PV panels.

                Wind is at an earlier stage of development since there is not much
                local experience operating or building large wind farms, although the
                NREL wind resource assessment indicates the availability of adequate
                wind resources that could make a project profitable if the government
                responds to industry recommendations on tax and tariff barriers.

                Since Armenia is a landlocked country facing difficult geopolitical
                circumstances, there are challenges for transportation and market
                access. However, the Armenian Diaspora has been proactive in its
                leadership in the high tech field, and industry leaders in the
                renewable energy field are attempting to introduce their products in
                Armenia and nurture new industry development.

                This has been welcome because it will create jobs in a country where
                there is still widespread poverty and underemployment.

                Ultimately the renewable energy sector can help Armenia achieve its
                energy independence and sustainable development goals, while at the
                same time emerging as a global leader in the clean energy sector.

                Hayastan or Bust.


                • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse


                  Jan 29, 2010

                  YEREVAN, January 29. /ARKA/. Iran has expressed willingness to help
                  Armenia in Iran-Armenia railway construction, Armen Movsisyan, Armenian
                  energy minister and co-chair of Armenian-Iranian intergovernmental
                  commission, said Wednesday after the commission's ninth session.

                  At this meeting, both countries arranged to embark on the construction
                  simultaneously - Armenia in its territory and Iran in its.

                  Iran, who has a rich experience in exploiting railways, pledged also
                  financial support to Armenia.

                  Speaking about joint programs, the Armenian minister said that
                  construction of oil pipeline, oil terminal and a hydro power plant
                  in Meghri is planned as well.

                  The railway will give Armenia an alternative way for transporting
                  energy resources and other cargoes.

                  Now Armenia has only one railway transportation link - through Georgia.

                  Investments in the construction of the railway are estimated to total
                  $2 billion.

                  The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have already expressed
                  interest in co-financing.
                  Hayastan or Bust.


                  • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse


                    In a bid to improve the country’s economic climate, Armenia’s legislature has adopted measures to give foreign business executives permanent residency.

                    Amendments to the Law on Foreign Nationals adopted by Armenian parliament on February 2 would allow foreign entrepreneurs to enjoy permanent resident status as long as they maintained businesses on Armenian soil, the Kavkazsky Uzel news service reported February 4.

                    Armenian officials explained that the legislative changes are designed to help attract foreign investment to the economically stressed nation, the ARKA news agency reported.



                    • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                      That sounds cool. i am soo tempted to start something there.
                      Hayastan or Bust.