The Georgian Industrial Group (GIG) is developing a thermal power station which will run on coal. The project will cost 200 million USD and its capacity will be 150-300 megawatts. The new power station will be located in Gardabani in Kakheti; the coal will come from the Tkibuli mines in western Georgia, which are owned by GIG.
The advisor of the Director General of GIG, Levan Vepkhvadze, told Tabula that the construction of the project should be completed in two years. Vepkhvadze believes the project will raise the country’s energy independence, as coal is the only fossil that can be gathered in that amount in Georgia.
“The capacity of the power station will be up to 300 megawatts, and it will generate the production of Tkibuli coal. The demand for coal on the international market is low. If we do not create demand for coal within the country, then the mines in Tkibuli will stop running.
This is why these power stations are of utmost importance; in order to raise the country’s energy independency. Coal is the only fossil in Georgia which can be gathered in that amount. All other stations are working on imported gas,” Vepkhvadze explained.
Georgia’s dependency on power stations reaches its peak during the winter season, when practically all hydroelectric power plants stop fully working due to lack of water; Georgia then gets electric energy via natural gas.
GIG owns 500 megawatt capacity power stations in Gardabani which run on natural gas. Currently all stations have stopped functioning.
On May 25th, two workers were injured during construction works of the new thermal power station. Both were hospitalized. The Ministry of Internal Affairs has opened an investigation concerning a violation in labour standards.
The company Georgia Global Utilities is also planning to build two new hydroelectric power plants, in Mestia in Svaneti, and in Guria. The director of the company, Archil Gachechiladze, says the investment cost of the power plant in Mestia is approximately 50 million USD; it should begin operating in December 2018.
The capacity of the power plant in Guria is planned to be 57 megawatts. Company director Gachechiladze says that two-thirds of the project will be potentially financed by donors such as EBRD, IFC, and others. One-third will be invested by the Georgia Global Utilities and its Austrian partners.