Russian Gazprom to gasify Abkhazia within a year
Gazprom brings gas to Abkhazia
Russian state energy giant Gazprom intends to gasify Abkhazia within a year, which will help, among other things, reduce electricity consumption in the republic and alleviate months of severe energy crisis.
The press service of the Ministry of Economy of Abkhazia reported that in the near future Abkhazia will receive from Gazprom a draft technical assignment, a draft agreement and a draft roadmap.
Russia will finance the gasification project in Abkhazia.
In July 2021, the costs of the project were already confirmen in the form of adjustments to the three-year “Investment program to promote the socio-economic development of the Republic of Abkhazia for 2020-2022”.
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The project appeared after President Aslan Bzhania, during a meeting in the summer of 2021 with Russian President Vladimir Putin, asked him to help with the gasification of the republic.
The energy crisis in Abkhazia has been going on since the fall of 2020. In fact, the only source of electricity for the republic is a 40% share of electricity generation at the Inguri hydroelectric power station. This power plant is located right in the zone of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, the parties operate it jointly, 60% of the electricity generation is consumed by the Georgian side.
Electricity turned out to be in an acute shortage in Abkhazia, primarily due to the “fever” of cryptocurrency mining that gripped it. Despite the legal ban and raids to identify mining farms, Abkhazia has not yet been possible to cope with the problem.
The dramatically increased load on the power grid leads to permanent breakdowns in different parts of Abkhazia. Throughout the winter, the power was often cut out, sometimes for the whole day, and in case of breakdowns, for days. Since June, when the tourist season began, throughout Abkhazia, there has been a rolling blackout schedule for two hours a day.
With the end of the holiday season, power outages will be increased to 6 hours a day.
Abkhazia was not supplied with gas during the Soviet Union and remained without a gas pipeline. Small consignments of liquefied gas are imported to the republic, which are then sold in cylinders.
A standard gas cylinder costs 900 rubles [about $12 dollars]. This is very expensive for the local population, so most prefer to use very cheap electricity: the price of 1 kW / h is 40 kopecks for private individuals and 80 kopecks for legal entities (these are very small fractions of one American cent).