On November 12 Expo Georgia exhibition center hosted international conference Energy for Sustainable Development. The event aimed at drawing attention to important topics for the sector development and stimulating discussions in this direction.

At the event representatives of private and state organizations discussed the country development strategy, environmental factors in the energy sector, tariff policy, new projects and other relevant issues.

The conference moderator David Mirtskhulava, a doctor of technical sciences, noted: “Similar international conferences are important for the energy sector development. Two major foreign companies of the energy sector Andritz Hydro Voith are sponsors of this conference and this fact is very significant and it points to much interest of foreign investors in Georgia’s energy sector”.

As reported, a major ratio in Georgia’s total foreign direct investments inflows is recorded for the energy sector for the last two years. The figure marked 197 million USD in 2013, that is 21% is Georgia’s total FDI inflows. The figure totaled 179 million USD in 2012, that is 19% in total FDI.

Deputy Energy Minister Ilia Eloshvili introduced energy sector sustainable development strategy to the conference participants. He stressed the advantages of making investments in Georgia’s energy sector.

Deputy Energy Minister Ilia Elosvhili:

“After the legislative amendments, investors are able to keep the constructed HPPs in their ownership, but the state receives all the available goods from the HPPs. This opportunity of keeping HPPs in ownership considerably encourages investors to take decisions on investing in Georgia. At the same time, new HPPs are completely deregulated. They are free to choose where to sell electricity and at what tariffs, excluding 20% of the generated power that will remain in Georgia. Investors are also interested in other factors. For example, there is no transition tariff, no licenses are required for exports and no additional taxes are charged. The legislative basis has been considerably simplified and so on. There are many articles in which investors are interested very much to make investments in our country. As a result, for the last 2 years our country has acquired additional 149 megawatt HPPs”.

Ilia Eloshvili also introduced the Ministry strategy for the coming years: “Our main strategy implies the construction of four main strategic assets that will enable us to save the electricity in the form of water in winter and autumn to replace the imports in this way. But this is not sufficient. We have to constructan  additional steam power plant in Gardabani. Construction works are underway. Moreover, other projects of total of 900 megawatts are also being implemented. Our ultimate goal is that by 2025 to 2030 Georgia have no electricity deficit. All these plans require about 10 billion USD investments. This is quite major challenge to our country, but this should be done to develop our country”.

Representatives of various investment companies have attended the conference.

Mikheil Nibladze, a managing director for Schulz Global Investments (the company oriented on the world’s most dynamically developing markets in Africa, Asia, Latina America and the Caucasus): “We believe Georgia provides good investment climate for business promotion and Georgia’s hydro power potential is of crucial importance in this direction. We find it expedient to make investments in construction of small and medium sized HPPs with exports focus on Turkey, not on Russia. Turkey is the most optimal exports market in terms of political stability, price and seasonal conditions”.

At the end of the conference, a discussion panel was held and the field specialists and economic experts discussed necessary reforms for the energy sector development, ways for implementing these reforms and issues related to the associated membership agreement.

 International Energy Conference ELCOMM CAUCASUS 2014 was also held as part of the conference. The event represents a platform that enables visitors to receive information on the existing innovations, new technologies and a full specter of other services on the Georgian energy market.