Armenia After Increasing Gas Imports from Iran
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Visiting Armenian Energy Minister Armen Movsisyan said Tuesday he is in Tehran for talks on increasing gas imports from Iran.
The Armenian minister told the Tasnim News Agency that increasing gas imports from Iran and development of bilateral relations in the energy sector will be the main areas of talks with the Iranian oil minister.
The Armenian energy minister on Tuesday morning met and conferred with his Iranian counterpart Hamid Chitchian.
The two ministers exchanged ideas on power generation and connection of the regional countries electricity networks.
The Armenian government is also building a second, bigger highway leading to the Iranian border in the hope of boosting trade with Iran.
Iran exports natural gas to Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, and receives pipeline imports from Turkmenistan and the Republic of Azerbaijan. Since 2000, Iran's annual natural gas imports have exceeded its exports in all but two years (2010 and 2012). In 2011 and 2012, Iran accounted for less than 1 percent of global dry natural gas imports and exports, a small figure considering the country's vast reserves.
Iran is particularly dependent on imports during winter months, when residential heating demand peaks during colder weather.
In 2004, the Armenian government initiated construction of Iran-Armenia gas pipeline.
The pipeline started operating in 2007. Armenia uses Iranian gas for generating electricity, which is sent to Iran - 3kilowatt/hour for 1 cubic meter of natural gas. Under the agreement, Iran will send 36 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Armenia for 20 years. The terms of the agreement can be prolonged for five years and gas import can be increased to 47 billion cubic meters.
Armenia used the majority of the approximately 1.25 million cubic meters per day of Iranian natural gas it imported to produce electricity at the Hrazden power plant. Initially, Armenia was to receive 3 million cubic meters per day of gas from Iran, with volumes slated to increase to 6.2 million meters by 2019 as part of the ongoing 20-year contract agreed to in May 2004. However, reported volumes have thus far failed to reach these targets.