Georgia not going to give up Azerbaijani electricity

Baku, Azerbaijan, June 5

By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

Georgia, despite the implementation of several projects on construction of hydroelectric power plants in the coming years, is not going to give up electricity supplies from Azerbaijan, Deputy Energy Minister of Georgia Mariam Valishvili told Trend June 5.

Earlier it was reported that it is planned to build about 100 hydroelectric power plants in Georgia.

The deputy minister said that hydroenergetics does not fully cover the needs of Georgia in electricity, as the main volume of its production falls on the summer, and the main consumption in the country is in the winter.

"Electricity consumption in Georgia is higher in autumn-winter period and lower in spring-summer period, and the production of energy is just the opposite," said Valishvili. "In winter, we have a shortage of electricity, which we will reimburse through import."

She said it may be ineffective in some periods of the year to compensate the import by Georgia's own resources, so a balanced cooperation with neighbors in the area of production and receiving electricity is necessary. The power system of Georgia is connected with the power systems of Azerbaijan and Russia, which allows for power interchanges.

At the same time, Valishvili said that Gardabani thermal power plant, which will run on natural gas, will be launched in August or September 2015 in Georgia, which will make it possible to partly make up for the shortage of electricity in winter.

Valishvili said that the existing power lines also allow carrying out the transit of electricity from Azerbaijan and Russia to Turkey.

He said that transit from Russia was carried out. The company carrying out the transit was purchasing electricity on Georgian-Russian border and selling it on Georgian-Turkish border. Transit from Azerbaijan hasn't been carried out, but according to the deputy minister, if the Azerbaijani side shows interest, Georgia is ready to offer infrastructure for the transit.

At the same time, she said that in recent times, electricity prices have significantly decreased in Turkey due to the decrease in the coal and gas prices that can make the supplies unprofitable.

"The Azerbaijani side should decide to what extend is it commercially beneficial for the country to transport electricity," said Valishvili.

The deputy minister said that everything depends on the prices. "If the prices rise as a result of the increase in consumption in Turkey and meanwhile, the shortage period begins, possibly, the Azerbaijani side will show interest in transit."

Valishvili said that from late April to late July when the electricity production in Georgia exceeds its consumption, the country's exports it.

It is planned to export 400-500 million kilowatt hours of electricity in the current season, she said, adding that a third of this volume will go to Russia and the rest - to Turkey.

It is already the second season that electricity is being exported from Georgia to Turkey. Electricity export to Turkey was carried out in July-August 2014, since there were technical problems in the lines in other times.

"Then the period of electricity shortage begins for us and export is carried out at minimum level only from the hydro power plants oriented to the Turkish market," said Valishvili. "If it is beneficial for the investors to sell more electricity to Turkey but not to Georgia's domestic market, they have a right for this."

Edited by CN

Follow the author on Twitter:@E_Kosolapova

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