Georgia opens privatization auction of 18-MW Ortachala

Georgia seeks bids for privatization of the 18-MW Ortachala hydroelectric project in Tbilisi for a starting price of US$25 million. Bids are due December 19.

Deputy Minister Vakhtang Lezhava said the Ministry of Economic Development is taking offers from both domestic and Western bidders.

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

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.

In October, Georgia said it wants to sell a 60 percent stake in electricity monopoly Georgian State Electrosystems before next year, in a bid to attract investors to its hydropower sector and develop transmission capabilities. The former Soviet republic needs cash after the brief but intense war with Russia in early August, which wrecked its fragile economy. (HNN 10/30/08)

Bids are due by 5 p.m. December 19. For information, contact Ministry of Economic Development, Privatization Department, 12 Chanturia St., Tbilisi 0108 Georgia; (995) 32-998980; Fax: (995) 32-933575; E-mail: info@privatization.ge; Internet: www.privatization.ge/spp/eng.

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