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Construction of controversial Nenskra big HPP begins in Svaneti

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, September 2
The Partnership Fund has started the construction of the controversial Nenskra Hydropower Plant.

The fund, along with the Korean company K-Water, the Georgian government, Commercial Operator of Electro-energetic Systems and JSC Georgia Electric System have signed the implementation agreements package at a meeting at Radisson Blu hotel on August 31.

The package includes an implementation agreement, the electricity purchase agreement and other related contracts.

According to director of the fund Irakli Kovzanadze, all the details have been agreed on and a construction company will now start the mobilization of resources for the HPP construction.

“This is the largest hydropower plant ever constructed throughout independent Georgia’s history,” Irakli Kovzanadze said.

A 280 mega-watt power station will be constructed on the Enguri tributary in Svaneti. It is estimated to be able to produce 1.2 billion kWh per year. The construction will take approximately five years.

Georgia’s Green movements are against the building of HPPs on Georgian territory, as according to them the constructs will seriously damage eco-systems and locals will have to leave their households.

The statement released by the NGO Green Alternative reads that if the Nenskra HPP is constructed it will result in the cutting of 400 hectares of Svaneti forests and will change the natural landscape of the western Georgian region, which are especially attractive for tourists.

The NGO also reads that the change of the climate of the area will cause worsening of health of locals and melting of icy slopes.

Svaneti residents have been protesting the construction and vow that they will not allow big HPPs on their soil.

The process of constructing big HPPs was launched under the previous government. The current state leadership promised before their election that they would have suspended the process as it might have been harmful to the environment.

However, when elected, the building of HPPs has become one of the state priorities.

Georgia’s Energy Minister Kakhi Kaladze has stated that the country required energy and big HPPs.