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S.Korea-led Consortium in Power Plant Deal with Georgia

A consortium led by the South Korean state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Georgian government on December 8 to build three hydro power plants in western Georgia, the Georgian Energy Ministry and KEPCO said.

Under the USD 1 billion project KEPCO teamed up in a consortium with another South Korean SK Engineering & Construction Co. and Turkey’s Nurol Energy Generation & Marketing Co., a daughter company of Nurol Holding, to construct three hydro power plants at Namakhvani on the river of Rioni in the Tsageri district.

The three plants, construction of which will start in second half of 2011, will produce a combined 450 megawatts, according to the Georgian Energy Ministry. It also said that construction would take six years.

KEPCO said in a statement that the consortium and the Georgian Energy Ministry would agree on financing and other details on later stage.

Georgian Energy Minister, Alexandre Khetaguri, said that “the financing issue is clarified to a certain extent.”

“The consortium is currently in talks with the Korea EximBank and EBRD [European Bank for Reconstruction and Development],” Khetaguri said.

President Saakashvili described the planned project as “a historic for Georgia”.

“For the first time since Georgia’s independence a huge project is being implemented… This is the project which exceeds [in scales] any other project implemented so far in Georgia, including the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan [oil pipeline] project,” Saakashvili said in televised remarks before the signing ceremony.

He also said “20,000 people will be employed in this project.”

But the Energy Ministry said in its statement that 4,000 people will be employed.

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