Building hydropower plants without considering the risks
04 September, 2015
Building hydropower plants without considering the risks
Georgia’s abundant water resources are being actively utilized for numerous hydropower plants. No one argues that having one’s own energy sources is good for the country’s development, but alarms are still being sounded – according to environmentalists, almost all of Georgia’s new HPPs are built or being built without extensive prior research. Besides, there is little to no support for involving the society into discussions on the new projects, event though holding public debates and considering the local population’s opinion
represents one of the EU directives.

According to environmentalists, almost all of Georgia’s new HPPs are built or being built without extensive prior research. Besides, there is little to no support for involving the society into discussions on the new projects.

The Association Agreement Georgia signed with the EU in 2014 has obliged Georgia to tweak its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) legislation. The tweaks should envision procedures necessary for involvement of the society in the process, such as screening and scoping.

“Screening and scoping stages of construction determine whether the project necessitates an EIA report. It is precisely at these stages that it is decided whether the project is worth proceeding with or not. In Georgia, however, the EIA is just a formality; this is confirmed by the way public discussions are going,” says Dato Chipashvili, representative of Green Alternative organization.

Therefore, as European Union’s Directorate-General for the Environment tells us through its press service, it is necessary for power over conduction of EIA to become accessible to the society: “Regardless of the case, a dialogue between the government’s authorized representatives and all interested parties is important at the project’s initial stage for it to proceed.”

Georgia’s Environment Protection Ministry is already working on this issue. The bill it is going to propose will be discussed by the Parliament before the end of this year.

“The main thing about the new bill envisioning EIA is that involvement of the society will be taken to a whole new level. Every single citizen who is able and interested in this or that project will be held informed at its earliest stage and his opinions on it will be taken into consideration,” says Maia Bitadze, vice Environment Minister.

But before the codex reflecting the EU directives takes effect, Georgia’s Energy Ministry is very actively signing memorandums of understanding with companies in charge of various hydropower projects. A few weeks ago, one of these was signed with Feri, a company in charge of building, owning and operating the Oni Cascade HPP. Denizens of the Racha region, however, are fiercely opposed to the project proceeding without their involvement.

“They are actively trying to circumvent the people with this project. They care nothing about the people’s opinions, the nature or anything else – the only thing that interests them is profit. We want them to come here, talk to them, hear them explain themselves and maybe reach some sort of mutual understanding. The fact that this is not happening is what pains us most,” says Giorgi Khomasuridze, a resident of Oni.
Director of Feri company Lasha Iordanishvili promises to take the people’s opinion into account, howegeotv.gever:
“The local population will be informed about the project and our plans from top to bottom. Their observations will be considered. We are planning to start construction after receiving the permit, which should not come later than summer of 2016.”

Lack of public involvement is the hot topic of other hydropower projects in Georgia as well, such as the Nenskra HPP planned to be built in Svaneti region. All legal and technical details pertaining to the project have already been sorted out and mobilization for the construction effort will begin in a few days.

“The investors try to make sure as few people as possible hear about the projects’ public discussions. In the Nenskra HPP case, for example, only two people have accidentally discovered that the project’s EIA report was discussed on June 1 and 2,” says Dato Chipashvili.

Nato Subari, a local denizen, did not attend these public discussions, but she is convinced that erecting a hydropower plant at Nenskra River would lead to serious problems:

“Every spring, a landslide occurs at the slope at the river’s source, causing a flood. If the river gets dammed, that flood might not only destroy the dam itself but also completely wreck whatever is nearby. This hydropower plant threatens our village with utter decimation.”

However, the Energy Ministry counters the dissenting voices by saying that boosting the country’s energy production is their top priority.

“It is very important for Georgia to have all these HPPs – namely, Khudoni, Nenskra, Oni and Namakhvani – in order to have better yearly regulation and generate more electricity during the winter period that is usually associated with energy deficit. Priorities vary, though, and everyone’s interests should be considered – as long as their complaints are accompanied by solid argumentation,” says Liza Tavdumadze, head of the ministry’s investment projects department.

At the moment, there are 86 hydropower plants active in Georgia, with the potential of constructing 91 more. The amount of HPP projects implemented before the new EIA legislation takes effect depends on the whims of energy and environment ministries.

Nenskra Hydropower Plant construction launched

Partnerhsip Fund is constructing a 280 megawatt Nenskra Hydropower Plant together with Korean company K-Water in Svaneti region on the tributary of Enguri River. The HPP is expected to produce 1.2 billion kilowatts of electricity per year. The plant will start operating in 2019 and the project is planned to be fully completed by 2021. Nenskra HPP is estimated to have a total cost of about $1 billion USD. Its construction will be financed by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Asian Development Bank and Export-Import Bank of Korea. The construction of the HPP is being carried out by an Italian company Salini Impregilo.

Author:
Tamta Jijavadze
Print
Other Stories
Korter: Reliable housing property data in Georgia
It's not a simple job to find fresh homes. But when you use the estate choice service Korter, everything becomes distinct.
Rent a car in Tbilisi – Parent.ge
Are you thinking of booking the best vehicles for your next trip at a very reasonable price? If yes, then this is one of the best decisions you can ever make for yourself.
Pleasant Sunday for the whole family – Renewed Sunday’s brunch at The Biltmore Tbilisi Hotel
Summer, the season of endless fun and vacations, has ended and Tbilisi has become a usually crowded city.
GEL devalues, officials show optimism though
Devaluation of the national currency has sent shockwaves among citizens in Georgia. Officials think that the trend will return to its normal frame, though.
ProCredit Bank’s 20 years of challenges and successes in Georgia and what it means to be a responsible bank
“The bank’s 20-year long presence in Georgia was marked by many challenges and success stories.
Comments on alarming GEL devaluation
The National Bank of Georgia set a new exchange rate, according to which, dollar price became GEL 2.9507 on Tuesday.
Euronews and Silknet sign an MOU to launch “Euronews Georgia”
Euronews and Silknet, Georgia’s leading telecommunications company, are announcing the signing of an MOU in view of launching Euronews Georgia, a news channel and digital platform aimed at a Georgian-speaking audience.
Green Diamond starts to hand over flats to owners as second stage of construction finishes
Second stage of construction of Green Diamond living apartments by MAQRO Construction has finished and process of hand over of flats to owners has started.
Georgian wine tasting in the US came off excellently
Georgian wine tasting in the main cities of the US, New York, Chicago, and Boston went off excellently.
The most wanted fruits from Georgia
The fruit exportation has decreased in Georgia. According to Geostat (National Statistics Office of Georgia), this year, up until May Georgia exported 25 939 300 USD worth of fruit – 6 771 300 USD less than in 2018.
Investment Plan for Europe – Additional EUR 800 million for SMEs as EIF and ProCredit double support for innovative companies
The European Investment Fund (EIF) and ProCredit Group are providing an additional EUR 800 million to innovative small and medium-sized companies (SMEs),
Everything of comfortable life in one space – Second part of construction of one of the largest apartment complexes finished in Tbilisi
Apartment in ecologically clean environment, thousands of square meters of green yard, swimming pools, places for various sports activities, treks for walking and running, commercial spaces – all these available in one space is not a fantasy.
Batumi awarded Europe's Leading Emerging Tourism Destination 2019
World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony 2019 took place on the 8th of June in Madeira, Portugal.
Coca Cola to open new factory in Georgia, will hire female drivers
Coca Cola is opening new factory in Georgia in December.
World's best party supply company now on the Georgian market
The largest party supply store in Georgia - MyDay is launching as the official distributor of AMSCAN from 2019.
Live as a marketing tool and an unprecedented live stream launched by Livetag
Sharing information has become smoother and more versatile in today’s technological world. Recently, live streaming, an online streaming media has become especially popular.
Theme and program of Caspian Energy Forum Tbilisi – 2019 changed
“The 8th International Caspian Energy Forum Tbilisi – 2019, scheduled for June 21, will focus on the development of the Azerbaijan-Georgia relations in the field of economy and energy”,
Misunderstanding over Poti deep sea ports
There was misunderstanding around deep sea ports in Georgia – in Poti.
High demand for dollars or the investment decline – Why Georgian Lari depreciates
$1 equals GEL 2,7470 in the official rate set by the National Bank of Georgia (NBG).
PSP Group confirms negotiations regarding purchasing of GEO Hospitals
PSP Group confirms negotiations regarding purchasing of GEO Hospitals.
New life to be given to Dashbashi Canyon
Georgia’s Agency of Protected Areas is planning to give new life to Dashbashi Canyon in Tsalka (southeastern Georgia).
Who is constructing “Khadori 3” Hydropower Plant in Pankisi Gorge?
Clashes broke out in Pankisi Gorge, Georgia’s northeastern region between special forces and residents
Business Positive – Successful radio program from Radio Positive
Starting point of radio program Business Positive is to meet interesting people, communicate with them and deliver information that is interesting for the audience.
A factory of electric vehicles to be built in Kutaisi
Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze stated that a factory of electric vehicles will be built in Kutaisi at the presentation of the Aigroup business group.
Qvevri-shaped hotel complex to be built in Telavi
A Qvevri-shaped hotel complex is scheduled to be built in the village of Shalauri in Telavi, Kakheti (east part of Georgia).
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
20.11.2019
21.11.2019
USD
1
USD
2.9735
2.9776
EUR
1
EUR
3.2917
3.2956
GBP
1
GBP
3.8465
3.8444
RUB
100
RUB
4.6667
4.6553
Other Stories
Recently Toyota rolled out Global Campaign under this slogan that reflects the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit of Encouragement,
A couple from Switzerland combines Swiss tradition and technology with Georgian products. Their cheese is made in the Georgian mountains and sold in local stores and hotels.
It has been more than five years since the residents of Lilo village, near Tbilisi, cannot open their windows.
63 000 GEL was received by the Georgian Agro Export Group which is just a small part of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agricultural and Rural development.
Georgian entrepreneur Guka Tavberidze, who runs his own business in the UK and does it quite well, has been invited by BBC
The grand opening of 7-star The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi took place in Georgia’s capital on July 31.
DUSHETI, Georgia – The Georgian government and the World Bank will allocate USD 5.6 million (12 million GEL) to fund
A new Georgian clothing brand named Person has emerged in Georgian market.
Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom, Euronews reports.
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.9776
EUR
1
EUR
3.2956
GBP
1
GBP
3.8444
RUB
100
RUB
4.6553
November 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30