The Enguri hydropower plant (HPP), Georgia’s largest power plant, goes offline for approximately three months for reconstruction works starting from January 20, the Ministry of Economy reported.
According to the Ministry, the last full rehabilitation of the HPP was carried out some 15 years ago, causing the necessity of the EUR 45 million worth of complex reconstruction financed by the European Commission (EUR 7 million grant) and EBRD (EUR 38 million loan).
The repair works will be undertaken by the Georgian, Turkish and German companies, with the winter-spring period being chosen for repair works deliberately due to the low level of the water reservoir in the 271.5-meter-tall concrete arch dam.
The main component of the reconstruction project will be repair of the dam diversion tunnel, through which the aggregates are supplied with the water from the reservoir. For this reason, according to the Ministry, it is necessary to temporarily halt Enguri HPP and drain the water in the tunnel.
The Enguri HPP’s concrete arch dam is located on the Georgian-controlled territory, and its five generators are stationed on the Abkhaz side in Gali district.
The repair works leave Georgia’s Kremlin-backed Abkhazia’s energy supply in a dire situation, as the region fully relies on electricity generated by the Enguri power plant. As of 2019, Abkhazia received around 48% of Enguri-generated energy, while 52% went to Georgia proper.
Abkhaz leader Aslan Bzhania said in November 2020, that Moscow would supply the region with power during the reconstruction works of Enguri HPP.