Georgia Partnership Fund Starts Construction on Thermal Power Plant
The US$ 4.3 billion Georgian Partnership Fund initiated construction on a 230 MW natural gas combined cycle thermal power plant 39 km south of the nation’s capital on January 17, 2014. The plant is financed jointly through the Partnership Fund and its wholly owned state-owned enterprise Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC). The power plant is expected to be fully operational by 2015. It will generate 1.8 billion KW annually. Turkish energy company Çalık Enerji will be constructing the plant. The total cost of constructing the plant is placed at US$ 220 million.
Several leaders were present at the groundbreaking ceremony, including Irakli Gharibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia; Kakhi Kaladze, Vice-Premier and Energy Minister of Georgia; Ahmet Çalık, Head of Çalık Holding and Irakli Kovzanadze, Executive Director of the Partnership Fund.
In a prior interview with the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, Mr. Kovzanadze noted a concerted effort to increase energy infrastructure saying, “For the past few years Georgia has been a net exporter of electricity; however, it required import and thermal power in the winter. As consumption is growing and the requirements for import or additional capacities are increasing, several new projects have been commenced.”
For the country’s prime minister, energy infrastructure is more than a step in bolstering their energy trade, but also a serious imperative for national security. “For any country and especially for Georgia, energy independence and energy security is very vital which is directly connected with the security of the whole country,” said Gharibashvili in a statement.
Currently, the country is 75% dependent on foreign energy, according to Energy Minister Kaladze. But “the country has everything to strengthen its energy independence,” he said.
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