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Electricity fees to increase?

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, July 16
Electricity fees may increase in Georgia. ENERGO-PRO Georgia claims that if Georgia wants to improve in terms of the electricity field, the fee should go up.

“If the country and the Georgian National Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (GNERC) want a better situation in the country, the step should be taken. We have already presented a new methodology that is transparent and acceptable,” head of the ENERGO-PRO Georgia Nikolai Nikolov stated.

He informed that the company has elaborated an investment package that envisages a 100 million GEL investment in three-year term.

“If you want refined webs and provision, the investment will require an increase in price,” Nikolov said.

The current agreement over the price between ENERGO-PRO Georgia and GNERC expires in September.

ENERGO-PRO is the initial company established in 1994 in the Czech Republic. When entering the Georgian energy market in 2007 through direct sale under an Assets Sale and Purchase Agreement (ASPA), EPG purchased 6 medium-sized hydro power plants (Atsi HPP, Rioni HPP, Gumati HPP Cascade, Dzevri HPP, Shaori HPP and Ladjanuri HPP) and two energy distribution companies (Adjara Energy Company and United Energy Distribution Company). Later, the company started to develop into a successful business, making it the largest energy generation and distribution utility in the country. At present, the company manage and maintains 15 medium and small-sized hydro power plants with a total capacity of 469.25 MW. Apart from abundant generation facilities, JSC ENERGO-PRO Georgia is the largest private owner of distribution assets. Covering 70% of Georgian land plot with total number of customers 980 000.

JSC ENERGO-PRO Georgia is the largest employer in Georgia, employing 5,200 people. Mmber of the Georgian Dream Zurab Tkemaladze claims that adoption of the new methodology, which means meeting EU standards, does not necessarily mean an increase.

He also stresses that there are preventive measures protecting socially vulnerable people from high electricity costs. However, he admits that nothing is excluded.

“I think that the situation will be balanced and that might even cause a decrease in prices,” Tkemaladze states.

Former Minister of Energy Davit Mirtskhulava says that the new methodology will make the electricity system better and more reliable. He admits that the methodology mentioned above will not cause an abrupt increase.

“Of course, investment means an increase in price. However, the suggested methodology enables a gradual increase and not a one-time immediate change,” Mirtskhulava said. Though, he could not exactly say whether the fee might really increase in Georgia or not.

It was a pre-election promise of the Georgian Dream coalition that utility costs would be decreased.