Armenian government approves loans for Vorotan hydroelectric power cascade modernization

Vorotan Hydropower Project

The Armenian Public Services Regulatory Commission has approved a decision by ContourGlobal to attract loans for the modernization of the Vorotan hydroelectric power cascade.

The US$150 million loan will come from a collective of lending agencies including the Netherlands Development Finance Company, German Investment and Development Corporation, HSBC Corporate Trustee Co., and International Finance Corporation.

The financing will not only be used to upgrade the three projects that make up the cascade, but help ContourGlobal repay loans previously taken from Armenian lenders for Vorotan's purchase.

The New York-based ContourGlobal finalized a $180 million plan to acquire Vorotan in June 2015 after more than a year of deliberations with the Armenian government. The deal was reported to be the largest ever U.S. investment into Armenia.

Per the agreement, the three plants will be owned and operated by ContourGlobal subsidiary ContourGlobal Hydro Cascade. The company said it will invest $70 million over the next six years in a refurbishment and modernization program that will "create 150 near-term jobs in addition to the 150 long-term technicians employed at the plants".

The cascade is located on the Vorotan River in southern Armenia and includes the 76-MW Spandaryan, 171-MW Shamb and 157.2-MW Tatev facilities. Together, the trio accounts for about 15% of the country's total installed capacity.

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