The Republic of Armenia has received a sovereign loan of up to USD 6 million (USD 4 million from European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and EURO 2 million grant from E5P). This project aimed at the rehabilitation and modernization of the street lighting network in the Armenian capital city, Yerevan. The key project components include 80 km of underground cabling in primary and secondary streets, the replacement of existing lighting fixtures with modern, energy efficient technology, and the installation of a central lighting-management system with automated control and energy monitoring. Through the loan the project will refurbish the street lighting network of 28 streets in Yerevan. The reduction in the use of mercury-based lighting fixtures will reduce environmental hazards at landfills. Better illumination of the Yerevan streets will improve road safety, potentially reduce crime rates and contribute to improving social behavior in the city. Within the project City capacity-strengthening support: Consultancy to support Yerevan Municipality in institutional strengthening and capacity-building through training in monitoring the street lighting operations and maintenance is foreseen which will be financed by an international donor. The contract with the company is already signed and the company is Grant Thornton CJSC.
The current street lighting is operated and maintained by the City, lacking incentives of introducing new technologies that could reduce energy consumption as well as maintenance effort. The City is prepared to consider outsourcing a private company to operate its street lights with a long-term Public Service Contract that enables the City to enhance the quality of the street lighting in terms of fewer breakdowns, better illumination and greater energy saving. However, should suitable private operators not be identified, the City may continue the existing operation and only seek for solutions to replace its lighting infrastructure.
Current street lighting comprises some mercury-based fixtures with an average lifespan of about 1.5 years and some sodium luminaires with 2 – 5 years average lifespan. This compares negatively with standard values elsewhere of up to 10 years for light emitting diode (“LED”) lighting. Thus, the current system is likely to generate larger than typical maintenance costs. It is understood that the low lifespan may be partly the result of the quality of electricity supply in the City.
Therefore, the City has approached the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the “Bank” or the “EBRD”) with a request to assess the possibility of financing a pilot street lighting modernization programme (the “Project”). The Project will include upgrading a number of street lights with modern energy efficient technologies, and replacing/planning the control room.
The Bank is currently considering providing a loan for this Project.
Environmental and Social Impacts
The potential environmental and social impacts of the Project are considered as positive impacts and negative impacts. The positive impacts basically include fixing the under-lit issues, increasing road safety, reducing crime rate, enhance community activities, reducing the hazard at landfills, carbon emission reduction, etc.