On December 19, USAID Assistant Administrator Brock Bierman, USAID/Armenia Mission Director Deborah Grieser, and Acting Minister of Energy Infrastructure and Natural Resources Garegin Baghramyan announced the launch of the Market Liberalization and Electricity Trade (MLET) project.
USAID has a long history of working with the Ministry to ensure that Armenians have access to reliable and affordable power supply. Over the past two decades, with USAID support, Armenia has established an independent regulator, unbundled the electricity and gas sectors, initiated large-scale privatization of energy generation and distribution, and substantially improved the delivery of electricity across Armenia. However, with aging infrastructure, over reliance on limited sources of fuel, and insufficient diversification of the energy supply, Armenia remains energy insecure.
“This $8 million initiative will help Armenia to diversify its energy supply, liberalize the energy marketplace, and foster energy independence,” Assistant Administrator Bierman said during the event. “The objective is clear: to make Armenia’s energy sector attractive for investors by enhancing its transparency, accountability, and competitiveness. By working together, we can help Armenia strengthen its economic connections with neighboring Georgia and the EU.”
Over the coming five years, the USAID MLET project will work closely with the Ministry of Energy Infrastructure and Natural Resources, the Public Services Regulatory Commission, and other key Armenian energy sector institutions to lay out the necessary legal and regulatory framework, and assist in knowledge transfer and training, all essential for a new energy market that will support Armenia’s long-term economic development. The project will help create market rules and procedures that will support Armenia’s compliance with western approaches and will facilitate expanded electricity trade and regional integration with Georgia.
MLET will also support the Armenian government in updating its Energy Strategy and developing a long-term least cost energy plan that will assess options for power generation, including renewable sources and replacement of the aging Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant when it needs to be decommissioned.