Czech firm adds 18-MW Ortachala to its Georgia hydro portfolio

Georgia’s Ministry of Economic Development has declared Czech-based power company Energo-Pro the winning bidder for the privatization of Georgia’s 18-MW Ortachala hydroelectric project on the Mktvari River in central Tbilisi.

The company’s Energo-Pro Georgia unit agreed to pay US$25.3 million for the project, slightly above the auction’s starting price of US$25 million. (HNN 11/24/08)

The ministry said the privatization amount is to be paid within 30 days of the auction. It added the buyer is obligated annually to produce 70 percent of the capacity of the project.

“I am delighted that Energo-Pro Georgia continues investing in the Georgian power sector and wish them further success in Georgia and beyond,” Energy Minister Alexander Khetaguri said December 24.

Ortachala has annual generation of 80 million kilowatt-hours. Its authorized capital amounts to 1.7 million lari (US$1.2 million).

Energo-Pro said it plans to invest US$7 million in the next six years to rehabilitate the project and increase its efficiency.

Energo-Pro is one of the largest investors in Georgia, already owning and operating eight privatized hydropower projects exceeding 414 MW. It acquired much of Georgia’s electricity system, including two regional distribution utilities in 2007, saying it planned to invest US$417 million in the country’s power sector over the next five years. (HNN 9/19/07)

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