UPDATE – Georgia names more consultants to study 640-MW Khudoni

Georgia’s Ministry of Energy has named a second consulting group to perform studies of the proposed 640-MW Khudoni hydroelectric project on Georgia’s Enguri River.

The ministry awarded a contract of 578,971 lari (US$348,798) to BRL Ingenierie/ARS Progetti of France. The firms were chosen over a bid of 946,935 lari (US$540,477) by ERM Ltd. of the United Kingdom.

With World Bank support, the contract calls for the consultants to perform �safeguard� studies of the project, including environmental, social, and cultural impact analyses and impact management plans. (HNN 12/29/05) The ministry said construction of the project would involve resettlement of the local population. The work is to require a total of 13 months.

The partially built Khudoni is 38 kilometers upstream from 1,270-MW Enguri Dam on the Enguri River. Expected to cost US$600 million, Khudoni is to feature a 170-meter-tall arch dam and an underground powerhouse, with capacity that some estimates place as much as 700 MW.

Construction was started on the project in 1979, but halted in 1989 upon the collapse of the Soviet Union. Although a river diversion tunnel, bridge structures, roads, and a railroad track were built, their condition is reported to be highly deteriorated.

The Ministry of Energy recently awarded a contract of 2.1 million Swiss francs and 779,662 euros (US$2.81 million) to JV Colenco and Stucky of Switzerland to perform a feasibility study of the project. (HNN 7/6/07) Those consultants are to perform a feasibility study comprising all technical and economic analyses necessary to assess feasibility, financing, and market aspects of the project. It also includes preparation of designs, technical specifications, and bidding documents.

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