The FINANCIAL -- Tata Power, India's one of the largest integrated power companies, through Adjaristsqali Georgia LLC (AGL), its joint venture with Norway's Clean Energy Invest AS Norway (Clean Energy) and IFC InfraVentures (IFC), a member of the World Bank group, on July 3 announced the completion of construction of its 187MW Shuakhevi Hydro Power Project (HPP) at a ceremony in Georgia.
Shuakhevi HPP is the largest hydropower plant to be built in Georgia over the past 50 years, and its project investment cost exceeded USD420 million. The completion ceremony was presided by the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, and the Vice Prime Minister and Energy Minister, Kakha Kaladze.
The construction of the plant started in the fall of 2013. As a part of this project, one weir and two dams, with their respective reservoirs and connecting tunnels, have been constructed to divert water for power generation. The water conductor system consists of three tunnels with cumulative length of 33.48km and 3.75km of construction adits. Shuakhevi HPP is the first hydropower project in Georgia to have been certified by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to reduce carbon emissions. It will generate about 470GWh of clean energy while lowering greenhouse gases emissions by more than 2,00,000 tonnes per year, according to Tata Power.
Around 730 Georgian citizens were employed in the plant construction. Post the launch of operations, the project will significantly contribute to Georgia’s path toward energy independence. The power generated by the project will be exclusively sold within Georgia throughout the winter, which is a period of energy deficit.
Speaking at the ceremony, Anil Sardana, CEO and managing director, Tata Power, said, “We are delighted to announce the completion of construction of our Shuakhevi hydro project. I take this opportunity to thank the honourable Prime Minister, Mr Giorgi Kvirikashvili, and Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Energy of Georgia, Mr Kaladze, and all members of Government of Georgia for their support in harnessing Georgia's huge hydropower potential. It is indeed an important plant as it satisfies Georgia's electricity demand during winter, reducing dependence on imported fuel and increasing renewable energy output. We are grateful to our strategic partners, Clean Energy and IFC InfraVentures, for putting us on a strong footing for this project”.
Prashant Joshi, CEO of AGL, added, “The Shuakhevi Hydropower Project will contribute significantly to energy independence of Georgia. We are supporting the strengthening of the energy sector with professional staff. Almost 90 percent of the company’s employees are young Georgian engineers. We are also on the lookout for opportunities to support the long-term development of the region and improving the living conditions and employability of the local communities in a sustainable way”.
The ceremony was also graced by Bard Mikkelsen, chairman, Clean Energy Invest; Jan van Bilsen, IFC regional manager for the South Caucasus; David Managadze, EBRD associate director, senior banker; and Samareendra Singh from ADB.
Since the launch of Shuakhevi HPP, AGL has actively worked to improve the living conditions of the population within the project area and to promote the region’s long-term development. As part of its corporate social responsibility programme, the company has implemented over 70 social projects, most of which were planned as public-private partnerships. Over 10,000 local residents have been engaged in the company’s infrastructure, education and community development projects. The company is also helping to set up a garment factory in Khulo, which will employ up to 250 local residents, in addition to several other large infrastructure projects implemented with the active participation of the local population.