The Georgia unit of Czech-based power company Energo-Pro says it plans to invest US$10 million over four years to rehabilitate and increase the efficiency of the 18-MW Ortachala hydroelectric project on the Mktvari River in central Tbilisi.
Georgia’s Ministry of Economic Development declared Energo-Pro Georgia the winning bidder in December for the privatization of Ortachala. (HNN 1/2/09) Energo-Pro Georgia agreed to pay US$25.3 million for the project, slightly above the auction’s starting price of US$25 million.
Ortachala has annual generation of 80 million kilowatt-hours. Its authorized capital amounts to 1.7 million lari (US$1.2 million).
Ortachala is Energo-Pro’s ninth power plant in Georgia. In the past year, the company said, it invested 7 million euros (US$8.7 million) in development of generation. As a result of hydro project rehabilitations, it said project efficiency and quality of electricity have improved significantly.
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. Currently, 60 percent of the electricity supplied to Energo-Pro customers is generated by its own hydro plants.
In 2008, Energo-Pro invested 25 million euros (US$31.2 million) in distribution, grid rehabilitation, new transmission lines, replacement of old cabling systems, and individual re-metering projects.