The Armenian government has been successful in pushing through a bill exempting Hrazdan cement plant from fines, accumulated by its failure to pay taxes and other mandatory payments.
Artsvik Minasyan, economy minister, argued that the bill would both create a competitive field and have a positive impact on economic activity in the region. He said the reactivation of the idle plant will save approximately 500 jobs.
The total debt of the Hrazdan cement plant is estimated at AMD935m (US$1.9m). The bill forgives only the fines, standing now at AMD510m (US$1.06m). According to Mr Minasyan, the debts were a result of economic crisis and poor management.
To prevent the plant from going bankrupt, full owners VTB Bank (Armenia) provided it with a loan of US$4.6m for resuming operations. Mr Minasyan said this loan would enable to plant to ensure production of about 200,000t of cement per year. In 2015 the plant produced approximately 80,000t of cement.