On July 5-6, the Members of the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in Armenia visited Lydian Armenia’s Amulsar Gold Project construction site and the pits area in Vayots Dzor and Syunik regions, as well as, ContourGlobal Hydro Cascade (Vorotan Hydropower Complex) also in Syunik.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Armenia is the leading business association in the country with around 100 members from all business segments. Its board members represent the leading business entities in Armenia with US-related investments.
Lydian Armenia, a subsidiary of Lydian International Limited and ContourGlobal, represent the largest US investment in Armenia at this point.
Lydian International Limited is a Toronto Stock Exchange listed company, registered in the UK, with major US investment funds participating in the financing of its Amulsar Gold project. Capital investment for Amulsar construction, due to complete in 2018, will amount to 370 million dollars. The project construction is already securing over 750 jobs in Armenia. Construction jobs will peak at 1300 and 700 permanent jobs will be created during 10 years of operations.
ContourGlobal is a developer and operator of thermal and renewable energy businesses. ContourGlobal manages, owns and operates an existing portfolio of 62 power plants with approximately 4,000 megawatts (“MW”) of installed gross capacity in operation. Its current portfolio spans 20 countries and 3 continents with a weighted average sovereign rating of BBB (weighted by capacity), utilizing a wide range of fuel types, technology and equipment.
In July 2015, ContourGlobal Hydro Cascade CJSC, the local subsidiary, acquired Vorotan Complex of Hydroelectric Power Stations CJSC, a complex of three hydroelectric power stations with an overall capacity of 404.2 MW and an average annual power generation of 1 billion kWh.
Ambassador Richard Mills and AMCHAM Board visited Amulsar construction site and one of the surrounding communities of Amulsar project, the village of Gndevaz, to familiarize themselves with the small and medium enterprise development projects that Lydian supports. Since the start of exploration at Amulsar in 2006, Lydian has invested over 3 million USD in socio-economic development projects in the Amulsar surrounding communities. The two-day trip was concluded with a visit to Vorotan Complex.
Ambassador Richard Mills emphasized the importance of foreign direct investments for the economic development of Armenia.
“Lydian’s Amulsar project and Contour Global’s investment in Vorotan Hydropower Plant have been the largest foreign investments in Armenia over the past few years. The success of these investments demonstrate the importance of the Armenian government’s commitment to provide a level playing field for businesses and to create a favorable investment climate. I am especially pleased to see that these investments not only offer economic opportunities to Armenia but also bring new culture of corporate social responsibility. As a committed supporter of Armenia’s EITI membership, we hope that the development of Amulsar Gold Mine will establish a new benchmark for transparency, environmental and social responsibility and good governance in the mining sector in Armenia,” Ambassador Mills said.
Lydian Armenia’s Managing Director Hayk Aloyan, a member of AMCHAM Board, thanked Ambassador Mills and AMCHAM Board for the visit: “Lydian is committed to develop Amulsar project in line with good international practice and modern standards of environmental and social management. We hope to demonstrate, both during construction and mine operation, that doing business in a socially responsible manner is not only possible but also beneficial for the company. We believe that investments brought by Lydian and Contour Global highlight Armenia on the international investment map and have the potential to attract more foreign investments for the benefit of our country.”
The President of AmCham, Ara Hovsepyan, who is also the General Manager of ContourGlobal Hydro Cascade CJSC, concluded: “It is important to see and understand the values that such high scale investments like Lydian’s and ContourGlobal’s bring into Armenian economy. We are not only talking about monetary values, but rather and mostly about high standard of work culture and health and safety, openness and transparency, abiding by the rules and promotion of sustainable social initiatives. These are the values that companies like Lydian and ContourGlobal are ready to champion in the Armenian economy in the years to come.”