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    ARMENIA * IRAN * AGREEMENT * GAS

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    YEREVAN, May 13, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - Agreement on deliveries of Iranian gas to Armenia was signed by head of the Director General of the Yerevan steam power plant Ovakim Ovanesyan and head if the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) Roknoddin Javadi in Yerevan.

    Armenian Energy Minister Armen Movsisian said this was a 20-years' agreement and 36 bln cubic meters of gas will be delivered to Armenia within this time. Armenia will get 1.1 bln cubic meters of Iranian gas annually and pay Iran in power.

    Construction of the gas pipeline is to be launched in 2004. It is to be completed by the end of 2006. The pipeline will be 141 kilometers long (41 kilometers in Armenia and 100 kilometers in Iran). The start point of the pipeline is Tehran, it will go to Yerevan via the Megria area of the Armenia-Iran border.

    According to preliminary estimates, about $90-100 mln will be allocated for construction works in Armenia. Iran will earmark about $120 mln for construction activities on its territory.

    Mr Movsisian says foreign companies may engage in the construction works, in particular, Russian, Chinese, U.S., Brazil and Ukrainian companies have applied for it.

    The Armenian leadership attaches high importance to the Iran-Armenia pipeline project. According to Armenian President Robert Kocharian, "the successful implementation of the project will bring relations between Iran and Armenia to a very high level".

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