The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved a US$10 million addition to its US$38.75 million lending program to fully restore 1,270-MW Enguri Dam, the primary source of power in Georgia.
EBRD and the European Commission (EC) have been helping improve the blackout-plagued Georgia electricity system since 1997, in part by investing in Enguri. The hydro plant on the Enguri River was in urgent need of rehabilitation at the time of the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.
With a US$38.75 million loan from the EBRD and a grant of 9.4 million euros (US$12 million) from the EC, Georgia carried out the rehabilitation. Three units have been rehabilitated and were restored to service in July 2006. (HNN 8/25/06)
EBRD now is extending its loan and increasing it by US$10 million to cover rehabilitation of the remaining two generating units and to fund additional civil works on the dam. The original loan in 1998 was co-financed by the EC, which is now providing an additional grant of more than US$2 million for the second phase.
The EBRD said the additional work would increase project output by at least 15 percent.
In 2002, Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation received a 23 million euro (US$23.46 million) contract from Engurihesi Ltd. for four years of modernization work on three of the five generating units, including mechanical and electrical components such as generator stator windings and cores, governors, valve controls, and switchgear.
In March 2006, the plant was shut down to allow restoration of the pressure gallery, valve chamber, pressure tunnel, and dam monitoring equipment. Project Manager Malkhaz Tskvitishvili said 5.3 kilometers of flooded galleries were rehabilitated.