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Georgia Finalizes Deal on Nenskra Hydropower Project

The Georgian government, South Korea’s K-Water and Italian builder Salini Impregilo signed series of contracts in Tbilisi on August 31 paving the way for the launch of construction of 280MW Nenskra hydro power plant in the mountainous region of Svaneti in northwest of the country.

“Signing of this package of implementation agreements means that all the technical, financial and legal details are now agreed to launch construction of this hydro power plant, which will be the largest one in Georgia since the country’s independence,” said Irakli Kovzanadze, CEO of the Partnership Fund, which controls stakes in major Georgian state-owned enterprises.

Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-Water) is implementing the project based on build-operate-transfer agreement.

The hydropower plant on the Nenskra river in upper Svaneti region with total estimated investment cost of about USD 1 billion will be transferred to the Georgian state after 35 years, Kovzanadze said.

One of Italy’s largest construction companies, Salini Impregilo, has been awarded a USD 575 million contract for the design and construction of the Nenskra hydroelectric project, which will produce 1.2 billion KW per hour annually.

The work, which has to be completed in 5 years, will see construction of a 135-meter high and 820-meter long asphalt face rockfill dam on the upper Nenskra river, creating a reservoir with a capacity of 183 million cubic meters of water. Along with Nenskra river, the reservoir will also capture the flows from Nakra river from where water will be transferred through 12.4 km long tunnel.

It will be a second project for Salini Impregilo in Georgia, which has constructed the 25-km Kutaisi by-pass highway in western region of Imereti.

Contracts signed on August 31 also include terms on purchasing of electricity by the Georgian state-owned Electricity System Commercial Operator and state power dispatcher Georgian State Electrosystem.

Initially Chinese state-owned hydropower engineering and construction company, Sinohydro, started to implement the Nenskra hydropower project in 2012, but it then withdrew and a new deal was negotiated by the Partnership Fund with K-Water.

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