Georgia shuts down main power producer for three months

By bne IntelIiNews January 19, 2021

Enguri hydropower plant (HPP), the largest electricity producer of Georgia and also the power supplier to the Russian-occupied region of Abkhazia, will be closed for repairs for three months from January 20.

While the dam is closed, Abkhazia will receive electricity imported from Russia.

Shutting down the Enguri HPP would not damage the energy system, as seasonal production was minimal at this time, Georgian Economy Minister Natia Turnava said.

As for how Abkhazia will be supplied with electricity during this period, it has already been announced that the separatist region will receive imported electricity from Russia under bilateral agreements not involving Georgia.

Director of Enguri HPP Levan Mebonia said that the renovation of the HPP had already begun, but the plan was to completely repair an essential tunnel, which required the closure of the HPP until the end of April.

Mebonia said that during the shutdown of the HPP, Georgia would lose more than 400mn kWh of electricity.

Renovation of the Inguri HPP tunnel was postponed three times: first, the repair was planned for 2018, then for 2019. The next deadline was set for March 2020.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) allocated a loan of €28mn for renovating the HPP in 2018. In addition, last year the EBRD allocated an additional €10mn. 

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