By: Mir M.Hosseini
The initial plans to build the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline were announced on April, 15 2002 by Armenian Energy Minister Armen Movsisian. The pipeline started operations on December, 20 2006, and was officially inaugurated by the Presidents Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and Robert Kocharyan of Armenia on March, 19 2007.
The pipeline diameter is 70 centimeters and it cost about 220$ million. The initial capacity of pipeline is 1.1 Billion Cubic Meters (BCM) of natural gas per year, which will be increased up to 2.3 BCM by 2019. The contract was signed for 20 years. For each cubic meter of the Iranian gas, Armenia is supposed to return 3 KWH of electric energy to Iran.
The pipeline is 140 km long. The 100 km Iranian section runs from Tabriz to the Iran-Armenia border. The Armenian section runs from the Meghri region to Sardarian, and another 197 km of pipeline is planned to reach the center of the country, where it will link up with the existing distribution network.
On November, 11 2009, Armenian officials reported an explosion of some segment of the pipeline within the Armenian borders.
Armenia has been building closer ties with Iran. Until now, Russia's Gazprom has supplied most of Armenia's gas.There are discussions to build a second pipeline from Iran to Armenia.