The need to build a waste recycling plant in Armenia and its environmental and social significance has been emphasized many times. The construction of a waste recycling plant has been among the pre-election programs and promises of various political forces and officials.
However, these promises did not come close to reality, except for the waste recycling plant to be built in Armavir.
The Fact Investigation Platform decided to find out how the story of the waste recycling plant began and ended.
How it started
In 2014, a delegation led by former President Serzh Sargsyan visited the Czech Republic. The delegation also included Armavir Governor Ashot Ghahramanyan. During the visit, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed, by which the parties established friendly relations for the development of cooperation in the fields of governance, economy, agriculture and other sectors.
As a result of several mutual visits during the year, in September, among other arrangements, a decision was made to establish a waste recycling company in Armavir Province through the professional support of the Czech side, as well as with their possible participation.
The following year, in July 2015, Greeneco Kas LLC was established, by, inter alia, Pavel Durchak, a citizen of the Czech Republic, and Aram Ghahramanyan, the brother of Ashot Ghahramanyan, the then governor of Armavir, who was also advisor to the governor.
In October of the same year, the government approved a proposal to alienate the 15-hectare plot of land owned by the Armavir city community to the Armenian-Czech “Greeneco Kas” LLC through direct sale at its cadastral price.
Within the framework of the investment program worth 17-55 billion AMD (about 33 million EUR), the company was obliged to build a waste recycling plant on a 15-hectare land adjacent to the Armavir city landfill and establish a greenhouse, which would create 100-120 new jobs.
The factory and the greenhouse were to be built within 3 years.
Moreover, in case of non-use of the alienated land plot within 3 years, a draft government decree on revoking the decision should have been submitted in accordance with the established procedure.
After two years
The topic of the waste recycling plant and a greenhouse was reintroduced in the spring of 2017, when its details became known. According to media reports, the design work had already been completed, and the waste was supposed to be processed in 3 stages.
In the first stage, about 22,000 containers would be placed in Armavir and Aragatsotn provinces, where the waste would be sorted. According to Governor Ashot Ghahramanyan, there would be microchips on the containers, which would show the amount of accumulated waste in each container and would give an opportunity to transport the waste at the right time.
In the second stage, biogas would be produced.
In the third stage, the waste residue would be recycled again, as a result of which the Eurodiesel-6 fuel would be obtained.
4.5 years later
More than 4.5 years have passed since the signing of the contract with Greeneco Kas, but the waste recycling plant and the greenhouse in Armavir have not been established yet.
Artur Harutyunyan, deputy director of the “Barekargum” CNCO, which deals with waste collection in Armavir, told the Fact Investigation Platform that rumors about the construction of a waste processing plant in the city were circulated a few years ago, but no official action has been taken, and they have no information on how the talks about the construction of the factory started and ended.
Landfill guard Samvel Tovmasyan said that about two years ago several people visited the landfill, dug 5 holes in different parts of the landfill and left.
According to Tovmasyan, the holes were dug to measure the thickness of the garbage layer, and probably the obtained data did not satisfy the investor. In any case, according to the guard, it was the only and last visit to the landfill.
The Armavir regional administration also informed Fip.am that although the three-year deadline stipulated in the contract expired in October 2018, the draft decree on annulling the decision has not been drafted and submitted yet. The governor’s office also said that the process was frozen due to the novel coronavirus, and only on May 21 was the relevant justification sent to the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure based on which the draft decree on repealing Decree 1268 A of October 8 will be prepared and submitted to the Government.
The municipality of Armavir also informed that at the moment the land is not used, and the annual land tax – 5176 AMD, has not been paid yet. In total, the land tax with fines and penalties is 35,800 AMD.
It was not possible to contact the representatives of “Greeneco Kas” company.
Thus, it should be noted that the promised waste recycling plant and greenhouses in Armavir Province were not built, the accumulated land tax has not been paid by the owner, and the works of fulfilling the requirement of the government to repeal the decision if the program is not implemented within 3 years have commenced only recently.