Deputy Minister Hakobyan, Mr. Babloyan, partners, ladies and gentlemen.
I am pleased to be here today to mark the handover of the USAID-funded Combined Heat and Power equipment to the Arabkir Medical Center. For over a decade, the U.S. Government has been assisting Armenia to restructure its energy sector and put it onto a sustainable path, allowing the country to have reliable, affordable electricity and natural gas supply. As part of this effort, the USAID Commercialization of Energy Efficiency Program is aimed at increasing energy efficiency and its environmental benefits, and identifying diversified renewable energy resources for Armenia.
Since 2007, the project has been working with private sector energy service companies and banks in Armenia to increase the availability of financing for energy efficiency projects toward establishing a vibrant, viable and self-sustaining energy market. Within this program, USAID has supported the installation of local heating systems at 18 institutions, including hospitals in Yerevan and the regions, educational institutions, kindergartens, welfare organizations. Even though these institutions have limited resources, they have shared 50% of the cost as energy efficient solutions improve operational efficiency and save money in the long term.
The newly installed Combined Heat and Power (or CHP) equipment that we celebrate today makes institutions such as Arabkir Medical Center self-sufficient and ensures continuous functioning of the hospital and its critical medical equipment. This will especially benefit the children who receive treatment in the Medical Center and whose lives are supported by the dialysis and resuscitation equipment. The CHP system will also present economic benefits to the Medical Center by providing energy savings and additional revenues to the budget of the hospital.
To date, this program has benefited 15,000 people and with the completion of the equipment installation, it will benefit 20,000 additional people each year.