Inguri HPP closing down for 3 months, Abkhazia to receive electricity from Russia
The Inguri HPP, the largest hydroelectric power plant in the Caucasus and the only Georgian-Abkhaz joint project will be closed for repairs for three months..
During this time, Abkhazia will receive electricity imported from Russia.
Renovation of the Inguri HPP will amount to 45 million euros, and 7 million euros will be provided in the form of a grant from the European Commission. Moreover, in the next 15 years, Georgia will be receiving a loan of 38 million euros from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
The Ministry of Economy of Georgia claims that the last major repair works of the Enguri HPP were carried out 15 years ago.
The winter and spring periods have been selected for repairs since the water resources of the Inguri HPP at this time are minimal.
The main part of the facility that needs to be repaired the most is the drainage tunnel which is used to allow the water from the reservoir to enter the turbines.
Currently, some sections of the tunnel are damaged, and large volumes of water are leaking.
In order to begin the repairs of the tunnel, it is necessary to empty it completely first, which is why the HPP has to be shut down.
“Our energy system will not suffer from the shutdown of the Inguri hydropower plant, because the seasonal production at this time is very low. As for Abkhazia, they will receive imported electricity from Russia and will actually pay for it themselves, meaning that we will not participate in this process”, said Georgian Economy Minister Natia Turnava.
Abkhazia to receive electricity from Russia
For three months, while the only hydropower plant supplying Abkhazia with electricity is shut down, it will be using electricity imported from Russia.
Since December, due to the energy shortage caused by the uncontrolled mining of cryptocurrencies, the western part of Abkhazia, stretching all the way up to Sukhum, has been powered by electricity received from Russia.
On January 20, a new in-flow of Russian electricity was sent to Abkhazia, in order to power its eastern parts. Shortly after, all units of the Inguri hydroelectric power station were shut down, and the station officially went under repairs, which will last until the end of April.
According to the general director of the Inguri HPP, Levan Mebonia, the amount of electricity losses resulting from the leaks in the tunnel reaches up to 250 million kilowatt-hours per year or one-tenth of all electricity consumed by Abkhazia per year.