Formal opening set for Georgia's 87-MW Paravani hydroelectric project

Paravani Hydropower Project

Energy officials from Georgia and Turkey were to be on hand for the formal opening of the 87-MW Paravani hydroelectric project, being completed by Turkey's Andalou Group on Georgia's Paravani River.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) hailed the event, set for October 11, in Georgia's Samstkhle Javakheti Region near the Turkish border. EBRD lent US$54 million to Paravani, while the World Bank's International Finance Corp. supplied another US$40.5 million to the project. Another US$23 million came from commercial banks.

"This power plant is a landmark project as the first private, large-scale renewable power generation project in Georgia, which will also have a cross-border dimension," Bruno Balvanera, EBRD's director for the Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus, said.

The total US$167 million run-of-river project will be linked through a converter substation in Akhaltsikhe, Georgia, and by transmission lines to the Georgia and Turkey electricity grids. The substation is part of the EBRD-funded Black Sea High Voltage Transmission Line project that connects the two grids.

Georgia's energy minister signed an agreement in 2009 with Andalou Group for the project to be developed by Andalou unit Georgia Urban Energy LLC. Turkish units of hydropower equipment supplier Alstom supplied two 45.4-MW Francis turbines, while a unit of Lahmeyer International provided engineering and design services.

Georgia Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze and Turkey Energy Minister Taner Yildiz were slated to attend the ceremony along with EBRD's Balvanera.

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