Starting January 20 the Enguri hydro power plant (HPP), the largest electricity producer of Georgia that supplies its Russian-occupied region of Abkhazia, will be closed for repairs for three months.
Georgian Economy Minister Natia Turnava said that while the dam is closed Abkhazia will receive electricity imported from Russia.
Shutting down the Enguri HPP will not damage our energy system, as seasonal production is minimal at this time. As for how Abkhazia will be supplied with electricity during this period, it has already been announced that they will receive imported electricity from Russia and the payment is made by them, meaning that we do not participate in this process", Turnava said.
Director of Enguri HPP Levan Mebonia said that renovation of the HPP had already begun, but now it is planned to completely repair the tunnel which requires the closure of the HPP until the end of April.
Mebonia said that during the shutdown of the HPP, Georgia will lose more than 400 million kWh of electricity.
Renovation of the Inguri HPP tunnel was postponed three times: first, the repair was planned for 2018, then for 2019. The next deadline was set for March 2020.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) allocated a loan of €28 million for renovating the HPP in 2018. In addition, last year the EBRD allocated an additional €10 million.