Leasing a hydroelectric power station in Abkhazia possible only by permission of parliament - why?
Leasing a hydroeletric station in Abkhazia
Lease of a hydroelectric power station in Abkhazia will no longer be possible without the permission of the parliament, after an amendment depriving officials of the right to independently decide on the issue of leasing any, even non-operating, hydroelectric power station with a capacity of more than 5MW was introduced into the law “On the Electric Power Industry”. Deputies therewith hope to resist projects that unprofitable for the republic.
What prompted the parliament to amend the law was the government’s intent to lease the Perepadnaya HPP 2, part of four hydroelectric power plants of the Ingur HPP.
Since the end of the Georgian-Abkhaz war of 1992-93, Perepadnaya HPP 2 has not been operational, but the acute energy crisis in Abkhazia for the past three years has forced government to act.
- Energy crisis in Abkhazia: the role of crypto-mining
- Camel blanket and home circus – how Abkhazians are experiencing “dark times”
- Russian investments to overcome the energy crisis in Abkhazia?
The government sees a solution in denationalization of the energy industry, including the transfer of three Perepadnaya HPPs to foreign investors on lease with the prospect of privatization.
The opposition opposes this, believing that some officials simply want to make money on the process of denationalization. And now the parliament has apparently agreed, though majority therein are supporters of the current government.
The government had intended to lease Perepadnaya HPP 2 to an enterprise co-founded by Rezo Zantaria, a former director of the energy company Chernomorenergo and now a member of parliament, and his Russian partner.
There were three contenders for the lease of Perepadnaya HPP 2, former MP Harry Kokaya says. The most favorable conditions were offered by the head of the Ingur HPP itself, Levan Meboniya, promising to give half of the generation to the Abkhazian energy system after the restoration of the station. But the government chose the project behind which Rezo Zantaria stands, even though he offered to give the state only 30% of the output.
One way or another the government failed to realize its plans, since Ramin Zingishvili, the general director of Chernomorenergo, refused to put his signature on the lease agreement, despite pressure from above. He preferred to resign rather than endorse an unfavorable contract.
And now, after the adoption of the amendment to the law, it will no longer be possible to put the new head of Chernomorenergo, Timur Dzhinjolia, in a similar situation. The question of to whom and under what conditions to lease hydropower plants, or whether to lease at all, will be decided by Parliament.
Toponyms, terminology, views and opinions expressed by the author are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of JAMnews or any employees thereof. JAMnews reserves the right to delete comments it considers to be offensive, inflammatory, threatening or otherwise unacceptable