A meeting with the representatives of the Pankisi Gorge was held at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, where the issue related to the HPP cascade construction in the Pankisi Gorge was discussed.
The Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Natia Turanava gave the great importance to the constructive dialogue with the local population in terms of planning and implementation of such important projects as the hydropower plants are. Turnava noted, that the negotiations between the investor company and the representatives of the local residents are being successful held with the involvement of the executive government and local self-government. In addition, environmental organizations were also involved in this process.
“With our involvement, an exemplary agreement has been achieved between the residents of the Gorge and the investor company. We think that this is a very good model that we can and will expand over other small plants, where local people have questions and claims, and the investor have relevant responsibility,” – the Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Natia Turanava stated after the meeting.
Lasha Iordanishvili, the Head of the hydropower cascade investor company PERI LLC talked about the importance of the project and highlighted the benefits that the population of the Gorge will receive during the construction process and after the facility is put into operation as well. As Iordanishvili noted, after entering into exploitation, the HPPs in the Gorge will provide the country with the electricity which will also contribute to the overall energy independence. At the same time, the population of the Pankisi Gorge will receive all the relevant benefits including the renewed infrastructure, employment, local taxes, etc.
“Requirements of the population, as well as the environmental requirements, were addressed at the meeting. The investor company should be satisfied as well since it will be able to operate in a very friendly environment – both the company and the population will only benefit from the project implementation,” – Sozar Subari, the Prime Minister’s Advisor on Regional Issues, noted.
As noted above, the investor company together with the Government will develop the infrastructure, which in turn will serve for the tourism development, regulate the Omalo-Dumasturi drinking water system, restore the Duisi village drinking water reservoir, provide Birkiani-Omalo connecting bridge, provide jobs for over 70 local residents, allocate about 120,000 GEL annually to the Fund established in the Gorge, etc.
It should be noted the PERI LLC is constructing hydro power plants of the Khadori 3 and the Samkuristskali 2, with expected investments of over 40 million USD. As a result, both HPPs will eventually be able to generate 160 million kWh of electricity. However, the Khadori 3 is a small HPP and its installed capacity is 5,4 MW while the installed capacity of the Samkuristskali 2 is 27 MW. Their impact on the environment is minimal.
The Khadori 3 will be completed within 12 months while the Samkuristskali 2 – in 30 months.