The FINANCIAL -- The EBRD is supporting the modernisation and rehabilitation of the Enguri hydro power plant, the largest electricity supplier in Georgia, with a €28 million loan.
The sovereign loan, extended to the plant’s operating company Engurhesi Ltd, will finance investments to ensure the continued safe operation of the plant, increase overall electricity production, enable climate resilience upgrades and reduce CO2 emissions.
The plant is located in the Enguri river basin, which supplies 40 per cent of Georgia’s electricity and significantly contributes to economic development and energy security.
The EBRD funds will be supported by additional grant financing of €7 million from the European Union Neighborhood Investment Facility and a technical cooperation grant of €450,000 provided by the Austrian DRIVE fund to support the establishment of a river basin-wide coordination initiative and assist Georgia in implementing EU standards, according to the EBRD.
Beginning in 1998, the EBRD financed the first three phases of the rehabilitation of the Enguri hydro power plant with total financing of €60 million. The rehabilitation included upgrades to all five units, increasing the plant’s operational capacity. The EBRD also financed the introduction of modernised technology to expand the plant’s capacity which has also allowed Georgia to reduce its dependence on electricity from fossil fuels and the import of expensive natural gas and increase energy security by replacing natural gas with renewable domestic hydropower.
In addition, the project has been registered under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism since January 2013, generating carbon credits that can be traded on carbon markets with businesses and governments that are close to exceeding their greenhouse gas emission quotas.
Bruno Balvanera, EBRD Director for the Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus, said: “Since the early days of Georgia’s independence, the EBRD has consistently supported the upgrade of the Enguri hydro power plant to increase its efficiency and help to provide a reliable, affordable and sustainable source of clean energy for the country. We are glad to continue our support of this major hydro power plant, which is also one of the world’s most impressive works of structural engineering.”
The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Georgia. Since the start of its operations in the country, the Bank has invested over €2.8 billion in 207 projects in the financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 91 per cent of those investments supporting private sector development.