Kristine Aghalaryan

New Hydro Plant Threatens to Deprive Lori Village of Vital Irrigation Water

Armenia’s Ministry of Nature Protection has announced that it is drafting a plan that would grant a water usage permit to Sedvi Energo LLC, that will allow it to build a mini- hydroelectric plant on the Katchatchkout River in Lori Province.

It seems that the company is going ahead with its plan to build the Sedvi 2 plant on the river even though Hagvi village residents voiced opposition to the project at a public hearing last February.

Residents argued that they use the river to irrigate twenty hectares of fields.

Sedvi Energo, registered in Armenia in 2009, is 87% owned by Sargis Gabayan, the son of HydroEnergetika owner Grigor Gabayan. (HydroEnergetika designs hydroelectric plants.)

When Hetq contacted Sargis Gabayan, asking him whether preparations were underway to build the new hydro plant, he said that he had heard nothing on the subject, and couldn’t say who might be engaged in such a venture.

“I cannot say who is involved. We pulled out of the project,” Gabayan said. When we asked him to direct us to someone involved in the project, Gabayan responded that he wasn’t obligated to name names.

Odzun Mayor Arsen Titanyan told Hetq says he hasn’t received any proposal to build a hydro plant. (The village of Hagvi was recently incorporated into the community of Odzun.)

Hagvi Representative Haykasar Mayilyan also had no knowledge about any plan to build a hydro plant.

“The issue has been closed for quite some time,” he said, adding that he knew nothing of any new project proposal.

The original plan for Sedvi 2 called for more than five kilometers of pipe. Coupled with the pipe with the existing hydro plant, the pipe would stretch for eight kilometers. Thus, 70% of the Katchatchkout River (not including the environmental discharge) would flow through the pipes.