Ingur/i HPP to resume operations end of April with capacity increased by 10-15%
Ingur/i HPP resuming operations
Large-scale repair work on the largest hydroelectric power plant in the Caucasus the – Ingur/i HPP – is ahead of schedule, and the station will resume work at the end of April 2021.
Its productivity will increase by 10-15%, says the chairman of the board of directors of the Ingur/i HPP Levan Mebonia.
The Ingur/i HPP was launched in 1978. It is located directly in the zone of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict and is controlled from both sides of the conflict: the reservoir, the dam and part of the diversion tunnel are on the Georgian side, while the other part of the tunnel, the hydroelectric power station building and four differential hydroelectric power plants, are on the Abkhaz side. This is the only joint Georgian-Abkhaz project – the parties jointly operate the hydroelectric power station and share the electricity it produces, which necessitates cooperation and regular contacts.
The HPP is 271.5 meters high and 800 meters long. It is one of the largest arched concrete dams in the world.
40% of the generation goes to Abkhazia, which is almost entirely powered with electricity from this hydroelectric power station. The station has been completely shut down since January 2021; during this time, Abkhazia has been powered by electricity supplied from Russia, whose energy is considerably more expensive. The rehabilitation of the Ingur/i HPP has significantly aggravated the energy crisis in Abkhazia.
“Now the reconstruction of the water intake tunnel is being completed, it was impossible to do without stopping the hydroelectric power station. The rest of the rehabilitation process will last until the end of 2021, but this work can be carried out in parallel with the operation of the station,” says Mebonia.
The section under work is a three-kilometer long diversion tunnel, which was in an extremely precarious condition – water losses were about 40-45%.
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The total cost of repair work at the Ingur HPP is 45 million euros. 7 million euros was a grant from the European Commission, a loan of 38 million was provided to Georgia for 15 years by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
The Ministry of Economy of Georgia reported that the last major overhaul of the Inguri HPP was carried out 15 years ago.