On 16. September, representatives from the Georgian Government, owners and management of the Adjaristsqali Georgia LLC and other dignitaries and invitees were gathered to celebrate the Groundbreaking if the Shuakhevi Hydropower Project.
As the project represents one of the largest foreign investments in Georgia to date, the list of visiting Georgian ministers was long. Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Mr. George Kvirikashvili and Minister of Energy Mr. Kakhi Kaladze all came down from Tiblisi to honour the Groundbreaking with their presence.
In his speech the Prime Minister underlined the necessity of energy for development. The project will contribute both to the socio-economic development and significantly increase the tax income in the area. In addition to that, the project represents an important contributor to export earnings for Georgia.
Mr Bård Mikkelsen, Chairman of the Board of Clean Energy Group stressed that the group behind the project will have a special focus on HMS – carrying on the long Norwegian tradition of this important issue. The valley of the Adjaristsqali River has a population of nearly 200 000, mainly getting their daily income from growing vegetables, fruits, tobacco, grapes and cattle farming. The area has also seen a variation of natural hazards such as mudflows, erosion and landslides. Hence the importance of these issues.
When completed in April 2016 – according to the plans, the power plant will have a capacity of 183 MW. Two or three additional projects are currently being planned in the same river.
The project is being developed by Clean Energy Group, Tata Power and IFC Infra Ventures.