YEREVAN -- Armenia says it will build a $5 billion nuclear power plant to replace its aging Metsamor plant, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.
Energy and Natural Resources Minister Armen Movsisian told RFE/RL on May 18 that the new plant will operate at twice the capacity of the older, Soviet-constructed facility, which is 30 kilometers west of the capital, Yerevan.
Metsamor currently generates some 40 percent of Armenia's electricity.
Australian company Worley Parsons has been selected to manage the project.
Movsisian said construction will begin "at the end of next year or at the beginning of 2011."
With a projected capacity of 1,000-1,200 megawatts, the new nuclear plant would be more than twice as powerful as Metsamor's sole operating reactor.
The Soviet-built reactor is due to be decommissioned in 2017.