The country’s largest investment Hydro Project Shuakhevi HPP will be commissioned and will produce its first flow of electricity in 2017.
The second largest hydro power plant in Georgia after Enguri HPP was constructed with the most up-to-date technologies, in record timeframe and with highest standards for quality. Recently, the Board of Adjaristsqali Georgia LLC (”AGL”) appointed Prashant Joshi as the new CEO of the Company for the Operations phase. The new CEO is a representative of , TATA Power, one of India’s largest and most respected private power utilities. TATA Power is one of the shareholders of AGL. One of the most notable features of the project is that the majority of the employees during the construction as well as the operations phase are citizens of Georgia.
Adjaristsqali Georgia, LLC (AGL) is developing hydropower resources on the Adjaristsqali River and its tributaries. The company is implementing one of the largest infrastructure investments in Georgia, the Shuakhevi Hydropower Project (HPP). AGL is a joint venture between Norway’s Clean Energy Invest AS and India’s Tata Power (40 percent each), and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group (20 percent). AGL adheres to high standards of corporate social responsibility in its work by supporting the economic and social development of the Adjara region and improving the living standards of the people in the project area.
On September 16, 2013, Adjaristsqali Georgia LLC launched the construction of the Shuakhevi Hydro Power Project (HPP), one of the country’s largest investments and infrastructural projects. The project represents a foreign direct investment of approximately USD 420 million in Georgia, and the finished hydropower plant will contribute a total of 187 megawatts of power to the country’s electrical grid.
The Tunnel works of Shuakhevi hydro power plant is the world’s second facility with 37.4 km length. The construction of the tunnels was achieved by the drill and blast method. The blasting was designed and tested to ensure the amount of explosives was sufficiently minimal not to damage surrounding the surrounding rock mass or structures. There are three main tunnels at the Shuakhevi Project; a headrace tunnel from Chirukhistsqali to Skhalta (powering the Skhalta powerhouse), a transfer tunnel from Skhalta to Didachara, and the main headrace tunnel from Didachara to Shuakhevi (powering the Shuakhevi powerhouse). The surface area of the Skhalta reservoir is approximately – 12ha at full supply level, with a volume of 0.75 MCM live storage. The surface area of the Didachara reservoir is approximately 15ha at full supply level, with a volume of 1.2 MCM live storage.
The Shuakhevi plant will satisfy domestic electricity demand during the winter, thus reducing Georgia’s dependence on imported fuel and increasing its renewable energy output. The plant will also foster cross-border electricity trading at other times of the year by exporting excess electricity to Turkey.
Another significant advantage of the Shuakhevi HPP is environmental. Climate change is one of the largest problems threatening both Georgia and the world, which makes the hydropower plant’s environmental aspects especially important. The Shuakhevi HPP is the first hydropower project in Georgia to be certified under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change for carbon emission reductions. The Shuakhevi HPP will generate 450 million kWh of clean electricity annually, decreasing the emission of greenhouse gases by more than 200,000 tons per year.
One of Adjaristsqali Georgia’s top priorities is to avoid or reduce its environmental impact. With the help of experienced local and international professionals, the company is sparing no effort to follow the mitigation hierarchy and has developed plans to address any potential impacts on environment that may arise from the company’s construction activities.
Since the launch of the Shuakhevi HPP construction, ensuring sustainable development in mountainous Adjara has been a major challenge facing the company’s leadership. The company studied the region and the problems it faces and committed themselves to making a difference in the lives of people in Khulo and Shuakhevi. The company launched a comprehensive program of corporate social responsibility projects that have resulted in success stories demonstrating how the state and the private sector can cooperate to provide opportunities for sustainable development in the region.
To develop these areas, AGL has planned over 70 social responsibility projects. The company is actively working with local NGOs to implement these projects. By implementing these projects in mountainous Adjara, the company seeks to improve the living standards of the local population.