The World Bank has agreed to provide a grant to help assess the technical and financial viability of the Nairit chemical plant in Armenia.

In a statement released on Thursday, the financial institution said that it would bring on board a highly respectable and globally experienced consulting firm to carry out the audit. The anticipated technical and financial analyses, as well as a basic environmental assessment, will help the Government of Armenia make important choices about the future of the plant.

"We have agreed with the Government to mobilize grant resources of more than $110,000 from within the World Bank for the proposed expertise that will ensure the quality of analyzes the counterpart needs from internationally recognized experts," explained Laura E. Bailey, World Bank Country Manager for Armenia. "We had hoped to have the work begin in early February, but it took some time to ensure that we selected the best possible experts."

The first phase of the assessment is scheduled to begin on February 25 and take two-and-a-half months. The consulting firm will:

  • Provide an overview of the global market for the main products that could be produced by the plant;
  • Assess the technical feasibility of production based on the existing plant;
  • Assess the financial viability of production given current cost structures; and
  • Carry out a strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-threats (SWOT) analysis.

In the second phase, the consulting firm will undertake a basic environmental review of Nairit's operations.

The World Bank said that it will provide close monitoring and quality review for this analysis of Nairit, although the analytical work will be conducted under the leadership of the Minister for Energy and Natural Resources as part of the cooperation between the Government of Armenia and the World Bank.