[ armenia - infrastructure]

Energy

At present, Armenia is the region's only energy exporter having a total generation capacity of 3,200 megawatts (MW) (1,754 MW is thermal 1,006 MW is hydropower and 440 MW nuclear).

The Energy sector was restructured into one transmission company (Armenergo), several generation companies and four distributors. More than 45 million USD has been invested to modernize the infrastructure of the energy sector of Armenia.The new Energy Law adopted in March 2001 regulates the electricity market as well as establishing an attractive regime for hydro and alternative energy, which is only being used at 30% of its potential. The purchase of electricity generated by new alternative and small hydro power stations is guaranteed for 10 years. A development program is being createdto increase hydroelectric generating capacity through 38 small and three large power plants, which should have a total capacity of 296 megawatts. By the law, energy tariffs will not to be increased at least until 2004.

Thirteen small hydropower plants have already been privatized since 1998. In August 2002 "Armenian Electricity Network" CJSC was privatized. 80.1% of shares have been passed to Midland Resource Holding, a British Company.

Transport

Armenia relies mainly on aviation that connects the country with the rest of the world and land connections via Georgia and Iran. The nearest seaport is Poti in Georgia, through which Armenia gets access to the countries of the Black Sea region.

Armenia has a well-developed road network, serving all areas of Armenia's economy with a road density of 3,360 kilometers per 1,000 square kilometers. The road network consists of 7,700 kilometers of interstate roads; inter-republican roads (regional) and local roads.

More than 100 million USD has been invested in the reconstruction of the transport infrastructure of Armenia with the assistance of international organizations (World Bank, TRACECA, UN) and the Armenian Diaspora.

Air transport infrastructure and civil aviation

Aviation is one of the government's priority areas for development. Civil aviation infrastructure consists of three international airports, at "Zvartnots", "Erebuni", and "Gyumri", and nine local (non-military) airports. The "Zvartnots" International Airport has been leased to the Argentinian Businessman Mr. Eduardo Eurnekian for 30 years. He plans to invest 100 million USD during the next years for modernization of the International Airport. There are 6 carriers serving Armenia: British Mediterranean Airways (UK),Aeroflot (Russia), Austrian (Austria), Czech Airlines (Czech Republic), Armenian International Airlines (Armenia) and Armavia (Armenia). The state carrier, Armenian International Airlines operates between Yerevan and Athens, Beirut, Dubai, Frankfurt, Kiev, Moscow, Paris, and Teheran, among other destinations. British Mediterranean, the British Airways franchise, is now offering direct flights from London 3 times a week.

Telecommunications

The Armenian-Greek "Armenian Telephone Company" JV or "ArmenTel" is the telecommunication operator, which provides the overall telecommunication services through the territory of Armenia. In 2001 ArmenTel successfully implemented various projects to develop and expand as well as to create an entire modern telecommunication system in Armenia i.e. to digitalize and upgrade the national telephone network, to introduce new modern services and to expand the GSM network.

While there is still scope to improve the telecommunications infrastructure, the operator, ArmenTel, primarily owned by the Greek company OTE, has to date invested around $ 235 million and approximately 69,6% of Yerevan telephone network and 42,0% of Armenia telephone network has been digitalized. In terms of GSM, roaming agreements have been established with over 135 operators of 66 counties.

The total number of mobile subscribers is about 200,000 (40% of which are postpaid subscribers and 60%-Prepaid).

Currently Armenia is connected internationally by about 1200 circuits, including satellite, fiber-optic and radio. Satellite communication is being provided by two earth stations, via Intelsat and Express satellite systems. Fiber-optic communication is realized through TAOS, which is connected with Georgian Optical Highway in the North, giving access to Russia and Europe through the Black Sea, and onward to worldwide optical networks.

The main Internet providers are "Arminco", "Netsys", "WEB" and "Xternet" companies. There are a growing number of Internet users, both residential and in business.

In line with the plans of the International Telecommunication Union Development Bureau for the development of worldwide communications ArmenTel is participating in BSFOCS, Trans-Asia-Europe optical systems.

Land Development

Nowadays there are some land development big projects taking place in Yerevan. In those projects are involved major investors and construction companies. Project "Nord" is the first elite office-and-residential real estate complex in Yerevan. "Nord" is situated in the Yerevan "small center" prestigious area, near the Opera Theater and the Freedom Square. Technical equipment meets highest world standards.

The investor of this project is Makarios Group Holding (Austria). The customer is "Nord Island" company and the seller is MiC-Realty Ltd. (Russia).

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