Norway aid to Georgia includes hydropower

The government of Norway has agreed to provide 235 million kroner (US$302.5 million) in post-war aid to Georgia including assistance for hydropower development.

Norway Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store said October 22 that the funding, for 2008-2010, would help Georgia to recover from its conflict in August with Russia over the separatist enclave of South Ossetia. (HNN 9/4/08)

Norway took part in a Brussels donor conference for Georgia sponsored by the European Commission and the World Bank.

Store said Norway’s assistance would be directed to sectors where Norway is �particularly well-qualified� and where Georgian authorities are asking for Norway’s assistance. He said first priorities would be humanitarian assistance to displaced persons and assistance to clear unexploded ordnance, as well as justice sector reform.

�A third priority area for cooperation is energy, with particular focus on the development of Georgia’s significant hydropower resources,� Store said. �Facilitating socially and environmentally sustainable development of the country’s hydropower resources can give an important boost to Georgia’s economic development, and this is a field where Norway has particular expertise.�

In April, Georgia’s energy minister said the former Soviet republic seeks private investors to build about 300 hydroelectric projects totaling 22,000 MW to make Georgia a major electricity exporter. (HNN 10/16/08)

Prior to the time of the Russian invasion, Georgia had announced it planned to rehabilitate the four-plant, 245-MW Vardnili cascade on the Enguri River. The cascade is not far from 1,250-MW Enguri Dam, which was occupied by Russian troops and forces of the breakaway province of Abkahazia.

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