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Thursday, February 2
Moscow and Tbilisi to Supply Electricity to Abkhazia

Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze said on January 30 that the Enguri hydropower plant, Abkhazia’s main energy supplier, will be temporarily stopped for monitoring the derivation tunnel as part of the initial preparatory works for a larger rehabilitation woks scheduled for 2018.

Kaladze also stated that he talked about the issue with representatives of Chernomorenergo, the Abkhaz state-owned energy company, during their meeting on January 26 in Minsk, Belarus.

“On February 15 we are planning to stop the Enguri hydropower plant to monitor the tunnel, since its repair works are scheduled for 2018. We talked on concrete details related to all these issues [with Chernomorenergo]. The meeting was successful. We will stop the Enguri hydropower plant for some time in 2018, so that the tunnel is entirely repaired,” Kaladze said.

“During this period, Abkhazia will not face energy supply problems,” the Energy Ministry told without disclosing further details.

Aslan Basaria, head of Chernomorenergo, stated at his press briefing on January 31 that the monitoring process will last “for about three-four weeks.” In the meantime, the Russian energy officials agreed to supply Abkhazia with 200000 kWh electricity, according to Basaria. He, however, added that the volume would not be sufficient for meeting the region’s needs and that Tbilisi would cover for the difference in energy supply.

“Abkhazia’s consumption today, in this weather, reaches around 390000 kWh. Therefore, we will face power shortage … on which, we have an agreement that the Georgian energy system will insure against the energy shortage that we will have,” he added.

Basaria explained that several meeting were held on the matter, with Georgian Energy Minister in Minsk and with Russian authorities in Moscow.

“Without Russia’s help it is difficult for us to solve these problems. We have been cooperating with Georgia in the field of energy for almost 20 years. Since the plant is in our shared use, we are obliged to agree all decisions, including on stopping the plant, supplying Abkhazia with electricity and all other matters that come up in the process” Chernomorenergo head stated.

Basaria also noted that the price for the Russian electricity will be between 390 (USD 6.5 million) and 500 (USD 8.2 million) million Russian rubles.

“The electricity will be supplied to Abkhazia at a wholesale price and without profits. Rates range from about two rubles and 30 kopeks (USD 0.04) to two rubles and 50 kopeks (USD 0.05) [per kWh],” Basaria added.

Aslan Basaria also stated that the water level in the Enguri dam is nearing to its critical point of 420 meters above sea level below which the power generation will stop. According to the Abkhaz official, the water level in the reservoir is at 431 meters and the plant might go off before February 15, the scheduled start of the tunnel monitoring.

“The water shortage is linked to a hike in power consumption in Abkhazia … as well as outdated electric wires,” Basaria explained.

Officials in Tbilisi were predicting a complete blackout in Abkhazia from late February in case of failure to reduce the region’s power consumption or to secure additional supplies of electricity from sources other than the Enguri hydropower plant.

Abkhazia fully relies on electricity generated by the Enguri hydropower plant, whose 271.5-meter-tall concrete arch dam is located on the Georgian side of the administrative border and its five generators are on the Abkhaz side in Gali district. According to a long-standing, informal agreement between Tbilisi and Sokhumi 40% of the electricity generated by the plant goes to Abkhazia and the rest 60% is received by rest of Georgia.

In 2015, Georgia distributed 1,797 million kWh electricity to Abkhazia, 17.31% of Georgia’s overall consumption, according to Georgia’s Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission’s report. In 2014 and 2013 Abkhazia was supplied by 1,638 million kWh electricity (16.11%) and 1,605 million kWh electricity (16.57%) respectively. (

Georgia’s aspiration to move closer to the internal market of Europe is impressive and exemplary - Thomas Mayr Harting

Georgia’s aspiration to move closer to the internal market of Europe is impressive and exemplary, - Thomas Mayr Harting, Managing Director of the EEAS at the European Commission said after meeting with Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze.

“We are glad to be in Georgia, which is a very dynamic partner within the Eastern Partnership initiative. Georgia’s aspiration to move closer to the internal market of Europe is impressive and exemplary”, he said.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze held a meeting with Christian Danielsson, Director General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations and Thomas Mayr Harting, Managing Director of the EEAS at the European Commission, who arrived in Georgia for a two-day working visit in Georgia.

The sides discussed priorities of Georgia-EU bilateral co-operation paying special attention to the importance of developing the Association Agenda and the Single Support Framework in due time, which will allow Georgia to successfully carry out reforms under the Association Agreement.

The Georgian side welcomed the fact that EU assistance is focused on economic development, support for small and medium-sized businesses and the formation of vocational education system, which is fully in line with the Georgian Government’s priorities.

The sides underlined the necessity of completing procedures necessary for granting Georgia visa-free travel in the shortest possible time. The importance of strategic communication in terms of promoting concrete results on the path of European integration was also highlighted. The sides exchanged their views on the importance of the fifth Eastern Partnership summit scheduled to take place in Brussels, on 24 November 2017.

The sides spoke about the security and human rights situation in Georgia’s occupied territories, including restrictions on the free movement of people. Mikheil Janelidze expressed his gratitude for the European Union’s active involvement, including in the Geneva International Discussions. The EU delegation reaffirmed the European Union’s firm support for Georgia’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. (IPN)