The Water Resources Management Agency of Armenia’s Ministry of Nature Protection is currently drafting a water usage permit for the Astghaber small hydropower plant that Telia Mining LLC wants to build on the Geghi River in Armenia’s southern Syunik Province.
The site of the planned hydro plant falls within the borders of the Geghi community.
The agency is also drafting a water usage permit for the Byurakan small hydro-plant that the same company plans to build on the Amberd River in the Aragatzotn Province of Byurakan.
Telia Mining, founded in 2012, was once owned by Misak Hovsepyan, son of Aghvan Hovsepyan, a former Prosecutor General of Armenia and currently head of the country’s Investigative Committee.
The company is now owned by Hakob Tadevosyan, a contemporary of Misak Hovsepyan. Nothing else has changed. The company’s legal and business addresses remain the same, implying that the change in owners was a mere formality.
In February 2013 the Byurakan Municipal Council decided to lease parcels of land to Telia Mining in order to lay and service pipes in return for 300,000 AMD per year.
Misak Hovsepyan also owns shares in the Vardahovit hydro-plant built on the Karakaya tributary of the Yeghegis River.
Narek Hovsepyan, another son of Aghvan Hovsepyan, shares ownership in the Holy Spring hydro-plant in the community of Horbategh.
Water from the Geghi River (a tributary of the Vorotan River) is already being used to operate the Geghi-2 small hydro-plant owned by the Eremirenergy LLC. The plant uses water flowing through a 3-kilometer pipe. The length of the river is 30 kilometers.
Two small hydro-plants built by Amberd HEK Ltd., 30% owned by Major-General Melsik Chilingaryan, Chief of the Department of Arms Control of the Armenian Armed Forces, already operate on the Amberd River.
Pipes used by the two plants total 6.5 kilometers in length. The river itself measures 36 kilometers.
Amberd HEK is now building a third plant on the river.
Top photo: Amberd River (Wikipedia)