Mtkvari Cascade Supplants Beshik Haya
02 February, 2012
Mtkvari Cascade Supplants Beshik Haya

To save the Mtkvari River, one of the key arteries of Georgia, flowing from Turkey, Georgia and Turkey will implement a joint Mtkvari Cascade on Georgian-Turkish territory instead of Beshik Haya hydropower plant cascade designed to be deployed on the Mtkvari head in Turkey that might change the Mtkvari bed.

The Mtkvari River, which divides Tbilisi into two parts and is viewed as a symbolic attribute to Georgian capital as the Thames is to London or the Seine - to

Paris, will flow just as it used for centuries. Georgian government promised it after the meeting of Georgian and Turkish energy ministers in Tbilisi on January 20, 2012 in the frames of Georgian-Turkish energy conference. To protect the Mtkvari River, Georgian government reached an agreement with the Turkish side to construct Mtkvari Cascade consisting of three Hydro Power Plants (HPP) on Georgian-Turkish border-adjacent territory instead of construction of  Beshik Haya hydropower plant cascade in the Turkish province of Ardagan at the Turkish-Georgian border, which could affect the Mtkvari bed.
One HPP of the new project will be constructed at Turkish territory and two-on Georgian. Other details of the project are not disclosed as of yet as far as the technical side of the project is still under vision, Mariam Valishvili, Deputy Energy Minister, said in the interview with Georgian Journal. However, the key principle that the river Mtkvari will be untouched is a final decision.
“We have achieved the principal agreement that the Mtkvari bed will not change and a joint project will be developed on Georgian-Turkish border instead. The consent is of verbal character as of yet but will be officially written and signed after technical details are agreed,” Valishvili elaborated.
Starting December of 2011 Georgian green watchdogs and experts hailed Georgian government that it has been implementing a latent negotiation on construction the Beshik Haya belived to be hazardous to Mtkvari and Georgian ecology.  
The Beshik Haya project entailed the alteration of the Mtkvari river bed so that the river would flow through the territory of Turkey instead of Georgia and the water flow would be diverted from Mtkvari into the Tchorokhi  [also a shared Turkish-Georgian river] of the Black Sea basin. Eventually, the Mtkvari water would be flowing into the Black Sea instead of Caspian as it presently does thus causing water deficiency in eastern Georgia, Giorgi Gachechiladze, Head of Georgian Green Party, assured.
According to him, although Georgia is not a water deficient country 75% of its water resources come with the west Georgia and only 25% on the east key artery of which is the Mtkvari. Alteration of the river bed might undermine sanitary and irrigation system in this part of the country and give a huge impact on agriculture and economy ultimately, Gachechiladze feared.
According to data provided by Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN), the mean annual liquid runoff of the River Mtkvari at the Turkish-Georgian border constitutes roughly 33 m3. Through the confluence of its tributaries, the mean Mtkvari water runoff reaching Tbilisi on an annual basis amounts to 230 m3 which in case of the implementation of the Beshik Haya project would be reduced to approximately 200 m3,  particularly in the summer months and affect crop yields in Tbilisi adjacent districts dependant on  Mtkvari alone.
However Irakli Macharashvili, Head of Green Alternative NGO, questions relevance of replacement of Beshik Haya by the recently agreed Mtkvari Cascade project as nobody provides with detailed information how the presumable economic and ecologic impact of both projects balances each other. According to him, the core problem is non-transparency that characterizes all the HPP construction projects and the lack of Strategic Impact Assessment that defines HPP development in civilized world.
“For more than a year Georgian government has been negotiating [the Beshik Haya project] with Turkish authority and this information was regularly covered by Turkish media while we learned of it only after  Turkish PM came here and told his Georgian peer that talks on joint utilization of Georgian energy system with Turkey are on,” he told GJ.
“We did not disclose details of talks with Turkish government for they were quite hard and as soon as an agreement was achieved we disclosed its details,” Valishvili explained.
But Macharashvili requires clearer explanation why the newly agreed Mtkvari cascade project is better than Beshik Haya. Macharashvili doubts that the Beshik Haya aimed to take about 25-35% of water at Mtkvari origin that might destroy the river as severely as forecasted by some experts for many tributaries joining Mtkvari starting Turkish border to Tbilisi replenish the river sufficiently.
“Who can say that the newly agreed project is less dangerous than the rejected Beshik Haya? Georgia has no Strategic Impact Assessment that defines construction of any HPP and projects are not available for us to have a look and discuss,” he said adding that he never rules out that the upcoming HPP construction deployment throughout Georgia can also be a part of deal between Georgian and Turkish governments to reimburse Beshik Haya failure as Turkish investments prevail in Georgian energy sector. According to Georgian Prime Minister about USD1 billion is supposed to be invested in Georgian energy sector in coming years, and the bigger part of up to 40 agreements concluded on construction of HPPs in Georgia come with Turkish investors. 
“Talks on Beshik Haya started more than a year ago and who knows whether or not government agreed to allow Turkish side to construct other HPPs on Georgian territory in exchange to the rejected project for most investors in HPPs construction are Turkish. And who can guarantee that construction of many smaller HPPs instead of the one rejected project is less dangerous while there is no proper assessment of impact these HPPs may have on ecology?” Macharashvili asks. 
Valishvili argues that based on recent researches smaller projects are optimal and attraction of resources from international financial institutions is easier to small HPPs.

Print
Other Stories
The World Digital Mining Summit to be held in Georgia
The summit is scheduled to take place between 21st-23rd September in the Hualing Hotel, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Galt and Taggart - Tourism Boom Continues in Georgia
Tourism has become one of the key drivers for the Georgian economy. Galt and Taggart has recently published research about the Georgian tourism sector in the first half of 2018.
"The worst dream for Putin is that Russians want to live in Georgia"
This year, visitors to the Adjara region would notice that there is a boom in construction in and around Batumi.
Underground gas storage facility to be built in Georgia
KfW, a German government-owned development bank signed a EUR 150 million promotional loan with the state-owned Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC) for the construction of the first underground gas storage facility in Georgia.
New gambling rules for Georgia
Georgian lawmakers are preparing a new draft law relating to online-casinos and gambling that will seek to curb gambling addiction in Georgia.
How expensive is it to visit Georgia?
The Georgian Lari (GEL) is the official currency of Georgia and is the only legal means of payment in the entire territory of Georgia.
Trade with the EU and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has grown significantly
Trade with the EU and the CIS has grown by 26% and 33.5 % respectively, says GeoStat, the Georgian National Statistics Office.
The unemployment rate decreases in Georgia
The unemployment rate decreased in Georgia by 1,9% and amounted to 12.1% in the 2nd quarter of 2018 compared with the previous quarter,
Memorandum of Understanding to be signed between Georgia and Malaysia
According to the Georgian Ambassador to Malaysia Nikoloz Apkhazava, Georgia plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malaysia.
“Blauenstein Georgia” due to expand in Georgia
“Blauenstein Georgia” is planning to open more shops in Georgia. It is an agriculture company that sells meat products, meat and convenience food.
The amount of Direct Foreign Investment rises in Georgia
According to the information of the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the amount of direct foreign investment in Georgia has risen
It’s going to get  harder for foreigners to get residence permit in Georgia
It’s going to get harder for foreigners to get permit of residence in Georgia.
Mziuri Park in Tbilisi to be renovated soon
It was the dream of prominent Georgian writer Nodar Dumbadze that when the original Mziuri park was constructed and opened in 1892 that it should be a park for children,
Winemakers to produce Kvanchkara in its place of origin - Racha
Khvanchakara is a semi-sweet Georgian red wine which originates from Racha, in the western part of Georgia. Kvanchkara is made of two types of grape Mujuretuli and Aleksandrouli.
The level of Georgian wine and Chacha exported has increased
The National Wine Agency of Georgia has recently published statistical information about the level of Georgian wine and Chacha exported between January and July, 2018.
New fire engines to be Manufactured in Georgia
The Acting Head of the Emergency Management Agency Shalva Khutsishvili said that the old Zili fire engines (which were made in the USSR) will be phased out and replaced with new ones, manufactured in Georgia.
Georgia witnesses a record number of tourists
The Georgian National Tourism Administration publishes statistical information about international visits to Georgia.
Canadian businessman plans to build a hotel in Bakhmaro
Canadian businessman Vadim Malishev plans to build a hotel in Bakhmaro resort, Guria, in the western part of Georgia.
Coffee Factory will open in Tbilisi in October
The first coffee factory (which will be located on the Kakheti highway) in Tbilisi will open in October.
Places in Georgia where real estate is the most expensive
The real estate market in Georgia is growing annually. In Tbilisi as well as other regions of Georgia new developments are increasingly taking place.
How much does a vacation cost in Tbilisi?
It is the middle of summer and those who have not yet taken a vacation are looking for an appropriate place for sure!
The price for extreme sports in Georgia
Georgia offers a variety of options to extreme sport lovers.
The number of Georgians who own property abroad increases
The number of foreign properties owned by Georgians is increasing.
How much does Taxi cost in Tbilisi?
Stories how Taxi drivers try to deceive passengers and charge them with more money than they should pay are known for everybody all over the world.
What are the highest paid areas in Georgia
According to the data collected by the National Statistics Office of Georgia in the first quarter of 2018 the highest paid jobs in Georgia are found in the financial and insurance fields.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
22.09.2018
23.09.2018
USD
1
USD
2.6216
2.6216
EUR
1
EUR
3.0854
3.0854
GBP
1
GBP
3.4584
3.4584
RUB
100
RUB
3.9340
3.9340
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
2.6216
EUR
1
EUR
3.0854
GBP
1
GBP
3.4584
RUB
100
RUB
3.9340