Welcome to the section of Yerevan municipality official website dedicated to Karen Demirchyan Yerevan Metro.
Not every city can afford to have a metro. Yerevan is, especially of such an impressive engineering structure built in such a difficult geological environment. Metro is also an important industrial and economic value, which must be preserved, developed further and handed over to the next coming generations. We are also proud that our metro has never suspended its service even during the years of the 1990s economic collapse – during harsh, unheated winters with limited hours of electricity supplied to the population and industry. Citizens of Yerevan can proudly state that their metro is one of the cleanest in the world. We also appreciate the devoted and enthusiastic staff of Yerevan Metro, many of them joined it from the first days of its construction or operation. However the recent years, notwithstanding this huge working experience also brought big challenges.
It’s not a secret that operating and maintaining a metro system and especially its construction is quite an expensive business all over the world. The construction cost per one kilometer varies within range of USD 120-160 million. Just imagine for a second that Yerevan has no metro line and wishes to build a one from the scratch..... It's not difficult to calculate that we would have needed circa USD 1.5 billion to construct a line with the current distance of 12km and this is only according to the quite modest estimates. Nearly half of that sum would have been spent for capital construction, while the other half or about USD 750 million, for infrastructure including track system, trains, escalators, facilities, depot, MIS, control system etc. It is this second group that requires permanent care and investment. But for the reasons known to all, no investments have been made during many years after collapse of Soviet Union in a row that contributed to gradual decline of this large company, with all of its structures and components becoming obsolete, expiring resources and being in extremely poor state. The outcome was a situation when in 2008 it became under question if the Metro may continue its services to the population of Yerevan with the affordable level of safety. Fortunately, the help arrived soon: President of Armenia Mr. Serzh Sargsyan (the then Prime Minister) visited Metro. Becoming familiar with the situation and assessing the current conditions realistically, the President called a meeting where the idea of five-year investment program was to born, with the purpose to pull the Metro out of critical situation. Or more honestly, the Government of Armenia showed a strong will to rescue this important structure from the collapse. A little later after the meeting the Government issued a decree defining volumes and relevant sectors requiring urgent investments for the next coming years. Indescribable enthusiasm seized the staff, that undertook the long awaited solution of accumulated problems. The same year the underground transport saw a number of important changes such as renovation of stations, installation of automatic checkpoints, improvement of poor interior of metro cars, etc. Unfortunately the large-scale investments undergone significant reduction in 2009 because of the global economic crisis. Once more the Metro faced a difficult challenge of keeping the enormous and worn out structure in good working order without serious investments. The subsidy provided by the Government was hardly enough to cover operating costs i.e salaries, increased energy costs and other urgent operative expenses on daily basis, while important structural facilities were still waiting for capital investments.
As it was mentioned above, construction of a similar modern structure would have required circa USD 1.5 billion investments, half of which would go to the infrastructure as opposed to the construction costs. An agreement signed on 10 March, 2010 between the Republic of Armenia and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development that followed negotiations that lasted two years and a detailed feasibility study was targeted at upgrading of these critical components. This was how the Yerevan Metro Rehabilitation Project was initiated; in August 2010 the European Investment Bank (EIB) and EU Neighborhood Investment Facility (EU NIF) joined the project. The EBRD provided a sovereign loan of €5 million and EIB the same amount, which was complemented by an additional investment grant of €5 million from the EU’s NIF.
THE INVESTMENT PRIORITIES
Due to lack of major investments in maintaining the network during long time, it was decided to direct the borrowed financial means solely to urgent and critical priorities – those contributing to passenger safety and namely rehabilitation of:
- extremely worn out metro car bogies
- significantly corroded high-voltage cable system,
- obsolete pumping system operating in tunnels 24 hours
- extremely worn out track system
CURRENT STATUS OF THE PROJECT AND IMPLEMENTED WORKS
Today, nearly two and a half years after the starting of the Project, the improvements are clearly visible. The project continues without disruptions, even being a little ahead of its planned schedule. During 26 months, which makes up 72% of total project life of the project, it was possible to report that 82% investments within the project frameworks have been successfully implemented. Such important issues for the system as renovation of metro car bogies and high-voltage traction cables have been totally solved. Upgrading of pumping stations operating 24 hours a day is in progress, while tender for improvement of the track system is planned in early 2013.
It worth mentioning that the project is among the rare investment processes, that was able to achieve significant savings equal to about 20% of the total funds, which were fully directed to refurbishment and modernization of the operating rolling stock. Today, 8 metro cars had been completely modernized and refurbished by using these savings that considerably improved passenger safety and service quality as well as the operating conditions of the metro car drivers.
THE PROJECT FROM THE REGIONAL PROSPECTIVE
On 19 May, 2012 during its annual summit the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development emphasized the Yerevan Metro Rehabilitation Project as one of the best in the region. The Project was praised once again at the meeting attended by the official delegation of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Armenia and Mayor of Yerevan held at Mayor's Office on 3 August, 2012 as well as on 30 October at the meeting held at the EU Embassy in Yerevan. The success of the I-st Phse of the project also mentioned during specially dedicated Visibility Event held on 4 December, 2012, where EBRD and EU delegations visited metro stations and then have a meeting held at the Mayor’s office in Yerevan. The project has every opportunity to be completed within the set deadline.
PHASE II OF THE PROJECT IN BRIEF
The Phase II of the Project (the international agreement has been already signed on 3 August, 2012 with the EBRD in Yerevan) will be the logical continuation of the Phase I. The EBRD already provided a sovereign loan of €5 million and it is expected that EIB will provide the same amount by the end of 2012, which will be also supplemented by EU’s NIF investment grant of €5 million.
The Phase will be similarly targeted at solving critical problems of metro stockpiled over the years, including:
1. Extension of the existing drainage tunnel (unfinished since 1998). It will be extended by around 1km between the Zoravar Andranik and Yeritasardakan stations to solve the problem of the water ingress in the metro tunnels.
2. Structural improvement and remedial of the metro operating tunnels, by void filling grouting and corrosion protection measures and coating.
3. Further refurbishment and modernization of 7 or possibly 8 additional metro cars by using savings achieved from the Phase II to reduce operational and energy costs, to improve safety and provide enhanced passenger comfort.