“AGL is building the Shuakhevi Hydro Power Plant, one of the largest investments in Georgia’s infrastructure and economy,” CEO of Adjaristsqali Ronny Solberg said in his speech.
AGL is implementing one of the largest infrastructure investments in Georgia, the Shuakhevi Hydro Power Plant (HPP) project. AGL is a joint venture between India’s Tata Power and Norway’s Clean Energy Invest (40 percent each), and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group (20 percent).
Speeches were delivered by the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Energy Kakha Kaladze, Chairman of Advisor’s Board of Adjaristsqali Georgia Kyrre Olaf Johansen, and the company’s CEO Ronny Solberg.
AGL is investing a total of USD 416 million and employing 730 Georgian citizens on this project.
One year ago, AGL has signed the Shuakhevi project’s build-own-operate direct agreement with the Government of Georgia and the international financial institutions ADB, EBRD, and IFC.
Today, a year later, we are here to report on the progress of our work before the government, people, and media of Georgia.
“The success of the Shuakhevi Hydro Power Plant project is the result of the combined efforts of many people, so I would like to begin by thanking the Government of Georgia for its constant support and each person involved in our project for their dedication and hard work,” Ronny Solberg said.
Currently the company has completed roughly 75 percent of the project’s construction. This involves building over 37 kilometres of tunnels, of which nearly 33 kilometres have already been completed. Construction at the Didadjara, Skhalta, and Chikhuristsqali dams is progressing well.
The Didadjara dam will be finished in November 2016, and the station will start operating by the end of the year. The Skhalta dam will be finished by December 2016. Roofing the Shuakhevi power station is already finished and have nearly completed installing its generators, turbines, and other machinery.
Our success so far has been made possible by the team of Georgian professionals working with us to build the Shuakhevi Hydro Power Plant. At the moment, our project employs 730 Georgian citizens, and the majority of these are residents of highland Adjara .
“In addition, we are contributing millions of Georgian laris in property taxes to the budgets of local municipalities. In 2013 we paid over 1.171. 680 Georgian laris in property taxes, 3.000 000 in 2014, and 4.500 000 million in 2015. This number will significantly increase in 2016 to an estimated 5 million Georgian laris,” Solberg added.
I would like to note that minimizing our project’s environmental impact is one of our top priorities.
AGL is committed to protecting the environment in the project area both during construction and after commissioning, and we are implementing mitigation and compensation measures to minimize these impacts. We constantly strive to comply with all relevant Georgian legislation and, in addition, adhere to the highest international environmental standards and best practices.
Safety is of the highest importance for AGL and the Shuakhevi Hydro Power Plant project. Safety is both a legal and a moral obligation, and we pledge to maintain the highest standards to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for our employees. Safety, the preservation of human life, and protecting the environment are the responsibilities of every employee, supervisor, and manager – and everyone is held accountable.
We believe that the Shuakhevi Hydro Power Plant will promote the long-term development of highmountain Adjara. Social responsibility is one of our main priorities, and we are implementing more than 70 social projects in the Project area.
“We have built roads and water systems, rehabilitated schools and kindergartens, and carried out a variety of educational programs for local students and teachers. I am particularly proud of our initiative to develop local small business by providing them with training and financial support. Our goal as a company isn’t just to build a hydro power plant, it is also to strengthen and develop the region where we work”.
The Shuakhevi Hydro Power Plant will be commissioned at the end of 2016 and commercial operation will start from the beginning of 2017. At that time, Georgia will have a power station capable of generating 187 megawatts of clean energy.
All the electricity that we generate during the winter months will be exclusively for the use of the Georgian people. During the summer, when there is a surplus of power being generated, we will export electricity. Thus, on one hand, we will contribute to Georgia’s energy independence and, on the other hand, increase Georgia’s export potential.
To sum up, Adjaristsqali Georgia’s Shuakhevi Hydro Power Project is one of the largest infrastructure investments in Georgia. Our project is boosting the development of Georgia’s hydro energy sector, creating new jobs, and developing the Georgian workforce.
“We are making a huge contribution to municipal budgets through property taxes, minimizing our environmental impact, and doing our utmost to ensure the safety of every worker. We are also implementing social projects focused on the long-term development of highland Adjara. Once our hydro power plant becomes operational, it will help build Georgia’s energy self-sufficiency and raise its export capacity,”Ronny Solberg said.
As our project comes ever closer to completion, we will continue to do our best to support Georgia’s advancement and development.
“Today we celebrate the implementation one of the largest and most important project in Georgia since gaining our independence. This is an enormous step in the development of our energy sector. Our goal is the rational utilization of energy resources in order to ensure our country’s energy independence. Cooperation with international finance institutions and leading companies is a significant precondition for the development of Georgia’s economy which is closely to the development of the energy sector,” Kakha Kaladze said.
As a result of the successful collaboration of EBRD, IFC, ADB, TATA Power and Clean Energy Invest, a USD 416 million investment was made in Georgia’s energy sector. This included an investment in social projects that focused on infrastructural development and raising the level of education and awareness.”