Georgian authorities are negotiating with Enka, the Turkish contractor company for the contested Namakhvani hydro power plant in western Georgia, to improve the terms of the existing contract, including the unconditional transfer of land, water and other natural resources on a 99-year lease to Enka.
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said that 'under the current conditions the Namakhvani HPP project will not continue'.
I hope we will make the investor agree on the best interests of our country; to build a hydropower plant with even better conditions, which will be in the best interests of our population, including the citizens who oppose the Namakhvani hydropower plant", Gharibashvili said.
Georgian Economy Minister Natia Turnava said that the Namakhvani HPP project, which is 'important for our country and strengthens the state in terms of energy', will be implemented only in an 'improved and safe way'.
She said that while a 12-month moratorium has been announced for the construction of Namakhvani dam in the Imereti region, 'everything must be done to improve the project'.
Many activists and locals have been protesting the construction of the Namakhvani HPP for more than 200 days, claiming that the construction was launched without sufficient research and thorough consideration of risks, including immediate security risks due to active seismic activity.
The protesters say that in addition to the environmental threat, the government has 'relinquished state interests' in the contract with Enka.