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Rehabilitation works of Enguri HPP finished

By Khatia Bzhalava
Thursday, April 29
After three months of reconstruction works, Georgia’s largest energy producer, Enguri hydropower plant, resumed power generation yesterday, reported Georgian Economy Minister Natia Turnava. All five units of Enguri HPP got shut down on January 20, 2021(when the level of water is lowest in the Enguri) to repair the dam diversion tunnel, through which the water from the reservoir enters the turbines, as some sections of the tunnel were damaged and a large amount of water was leaking. The electricity loss resulting from the leaks in the tunnel reached up to 250 million kilowatt-hours per year. As a result of repairing works, the volume of water leaked from the tunnel has been significantly reduced, which will positively influence the electricity generation by the Enguri HPP.

Enguri HPP also supplies the country’s Russian-occupied region of Abkhazia. As the economy minister remarked, Enguri HPP is “wealth that unites Georgians and our Abkhazian sisters and brothers.” The HPP’s concrete arch dam is located on the Tbilisi-controlled territory, while its five generators are stationed on the Abkhazian side, in the Gali district.

According to Turnava, such mass rehabilitation works have not been implemented in 15 years. As a result of repairing the HPP diversion tunnel, water loss will be reduced by 30-35%, which means an additional up to 90 million kWh of electricity generation per year. As the minister noted, the rehabilitation works were carried out by Georgian company, however, foreign engineers and specialists were involved as well.

The rehabilitation project cost 45 million euros, of which Euro7 million was received from the European Commission as a grant and Euro38 million is a loan from the European Bank from Reconstruction and Development.

As the PM of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili has stated, Enguri HPP is very important for the country's energy independence and safety, as 40% of the country’s power comes from this plant.