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The World Bank announced on Friday the disbursement of a $39 million loan to Armenia that will finance a government project to modernize the national electricity transmission network.


In a statement issued after a meeting of its executive board in Washington, the bank said the Armenian government will allocate $13 million of its own funds for the planned replacement of around 230 kilometers of outdated high-voltage transmission lines.

“This project supports a key strategic objective of our Country Partnership Strategy: to support Armenia’s competitiveness,” Asad Alam, the World Bank Regional director for the South Caucasus, was quoted as saying. “The rehabilitation of the targeted section of the transmission line will improve system efficiency and reliability, and bring direct benefits to all power consumers in Armenia.”

“The capacity of this section of the transmission line will increase from 250 megawatts to 310 megawatts, with a sharp reduction in current outages,” the head of the bank’s Yerevan office, Jean-Michel Happi, said for his part.

Armenia’s 1,500 kilometer-long power transmission lines are operated by a state-owned company, High Voltage Electric Networks. The company estimates that roughly one third of the network needs urgent rehabilitation or replacement.

According to the statement, the new high-voltage lines to be built with World Bank funding will connect Armenia’s largest thermal and hydro power plants located in the central Kotayk and southeastern Syunik provinces respectively.

The credit disbursement raised to almost $1.5 billion the total amount of loans provided by the bank to Armenia since 1992. The Washington-based institution is the country’s largest foreign donor.
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