Ana səhifə

A shady $600 Million Power Plant: Armenia Strikes Deal With Offshore Company

Yüklə 36 Kb.
ölçüsü36 Kb.

A Shady $600 Million Power Plant: Armenia Strikes Deal With Offshore Company

By Kristine Aghalaryan - 25/11/2014
Armenia to provide numerous concessions to a company owned by a

Georgian businessman with criminal past

In June of this year, the Armenian government struck a deal with

Anaklia IEP Holding that gives the green light to the Georgian company

to build and operate a 540 megawatt natural gas-fired power plant

in Armenia.

The electricity produced by the plant, to be built in Vanadzor,

will go to Georgia.

After the agreement was signed the ministry issued a statement that

in return Armenia would offer tax breaks and guarantee supplies of

sufficient gas to the plant.
Replying to a Hetq inquiry regarding the proposed project, the ministry

stated: "The construction of the planned for gas electricity plant is

targeted to develop our production capacities, to raise the level of

Armenia's electric security and sustainability, as well as the levels

of our electricity exports."
According to the agreement, Anaklia IEP will build two sub-stations

each producing 270 megawatts of electricity.

In his reply to Hetq, ministry chief of staff Karen Ghahramanyan noted

that the Georgian company will be investing all of the US$600 million.

"Anaklia IEP will be assuming all of the risks regarding the completion

of the project and our government will assist in certain issues

like issuing certain allowances according to the law, guaranteeing a

non-discriminatory approach regarding utility hook-ups, safeguarding

investments, and supplying agreed upon gas levels," Ghahramanyan added.
The project must be completed not later than 36 months after Armenia's

Public Services Regulatory Commission issues a license and the

first sub-station must be finished no later than 18 months after

such issuance.

Public Services Regulatory Commission spokesperson Mariam Stepanyan

has told Hetq that Anaklia Energy has still not filed a request for

a license.
A new company, Anaklia Energy LLC, has been formed in Armenia to

implement the project. It is 100% owned by Teymuraz Karchava who also

serves as the president of the board of Anaklia IEP Holding.
Who is Teymuraz Karchava?
This Georgian businessman, registered as residing in Tbilisi, has

an interesting biography. He lived in Russia until 2004 and owns the

VIP National Club (a high-class casino and restaurant complex).
He was then charged with bribing a Russian finance ministry official

and faking certain documents. It turns out that Karchava entered

Russia using a fake passport. He was found innocent of the bribery

charge but sentence to 21 months on the fake passport charge.

According to Georgian sources, Karchava then left Russia for London.
While he owns more than ten companies according to Georgia's corporate

registry, Karchava is a little-known figure there.

Karchava's name came to light in 2009 regarding the Anaklia port

project. With the backing of former Georgia president Mikhail

Saakashvili, a project was launched to build a sea port in the

country's western Anaklia district, near the border with Abkhazia. But

he couldn't come through with the financing and another company took

over and began the construction. By that time Saakashvili had halted

the Anaklia project and floated the idea of building a port and city

at Lazika.

In 2012, the Georgian government unilaterally dissolved its agreement

with Karchava's company and fined it US$100 million for violating the

construction deadlines. Karchava and the Georgian government battled

it out in the Georgian courts. In an interview, Karchava claimed

that the government was building a justice office and youth camp on

lands envisaged for his project - the construction of transportation

After Bidzina Ivanishvili came to power, the new Georgian government

backtracked and decided to go ahead with the Anaklia project and

not Lazika.
On August 6, 2014, the Georgia government announced a tender bid for

the project. On August 14 (before it was clear what company would

construct the port, the Armenian government signed the natural gas

electricity plant deal with Karchava's company.

According to the Anaklia Energy plan, the electricity produced in

Armenia will be supplied to this port whose future is still uncertain.

Furthermore, in the addendum to the Armenian government's August 14

decision, the corporate address of Anaklia IEP Holding is noted as -

Suite 7, 55, Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 1NA, UK.
However, according to a Hetq search of the British Virgin Islands

Register of Companies, Anaklia IEP is actually registered in the

British Virgin Islands and was incorporated on December 27, 2013.
Controversial former Armenian energy minister involved
More surprising is the fact that the company has no recorded history of

operating in the energy sector' let alone constructing such as plant.

Despite the company's scanty track-record, the Armenian government has

guaranteed to provide one million cubic meters of natural gas after the

plant has gone on line. At the time the agreement was signed as cubic

meter was going for $230.82 (before VAT). The Armenian government has

also agreed to postpone VAT payments for any company imports needed

to build the plant. When electricity is later exported to Georgia,

the Armenian government has promised to set a zero VAT rate.
Of greater concern is that the main player in this deal was former

Armenian energy minister Armen Movsisyan, who now serves as a

presidential advisor.
It was under his tenure as energy minister that the Nairi Rubber

Plantand Vanadzor's Kimprom wound up in the off-shore labyrinth of

shady deals in the first place.
Photo (from left): Teymuraz Karchava, former Armenian Energy and

Natural Resources Minister Armen Movsisyan

Nino Bakradze from Georgia contributed in the preparation of this


Verilənlər bazası müəlliflik hüququ ilə müdafiə olunur © 2016
rəhbərliyinə müraciət