Press Release

GEF supports Armenia's geothermal energy development

February 26, 2009

The World Bank's Vice President for Europe and Central Asia approved the Armenia Geothermal Energy Development project. The project, funded by a grant of US$ 1.5 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund, is the second operation financed under the Geothermal Energy Development Program (GeoFund), a US$ 25 million regional program funded by the GEF and implemented by the World Bank jointly with the International Finance Corporation (IFC).


The objective of the GeoFund is to systematically promote the use of geothermal energy in the Europe and Central Asia region by removing barriers, and allowing for diversification in energy use and an increase in the demand for similar projects.

The Project will assess the feasibility of exploratory drilling in Armenia in sites with the highest geothermal potential.

"We are pleased to receive GeoFund support, especially given the lack of adequate site investigation works, and limited interest of private sector in development of geothermal energy resources in Armenia," said Ani Balabanyan, the Task Team Leader of the Project. "This project will fill in this gap and will serve as a model for similar field investigation projects."


The Project will provide technical assistance to conduct comprehensive geothermal field investigation works for Gridzor and Karkar sites (in Gegharkunik and Sjunik regions respectively).



About the GEF

The GEF unites 178 countries in partnership with international institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national  sustainable development initiatives. Today the GEF is the largest funder of projects to improve the global environment.


An independent  financial organization, the GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants. Since 1991, GEF has achieved a strong track record with developing countries and countries with economies in transition, providing $ 8.3 billion in grants and leveraging $ 33.7 billion in co-financing for over 2,200 projects in over 165 countries.


Through its Small Grants Program (SGP), the GEF has also made more than 7,000 small grants, up to $ 50,000 each, directly to nongovernmental organizations and community organizations.


The World Bank Group is one of GEF's implementing agencies and supports countries in preparing GEF co-financed projects and supervises their implementation. It plays the primary role in ensuring the development and management of investment projects.

The Bank draws upon its investment experience in eligible countries to promote investment opportunities and to mobilize private sector, bilateral, multilateral, and other government and non-government sector resources that are consistent with GEF objectives and national sustainable development strategies.

Since 1991, the World Bank Group has committed $ 1.52 billion in GEF resources and $ 2.25 billion in Bank group co-financing for GEF projects in 80 countries. In addition to GEF and Bank resources, it has mobilized additional co-financing of $ 5.48 billion from other donors.


Vigen Sargsyan, The World Bank Group, Yerevan
Tel: +374 1 524 884
Michael Jones, The World Bank Group, Washington
Tel: +1 202 473 2588