EIB allocates loan to Georgia
Azerbaijan, Baku, May 18 / Trend E. Ostapenko /
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending 80 million euro to Georgia to finance the extension and upgrading of the country's high voltage transmission network and its interconnection with the electricity grid in neighbouring Turkey, ENPI's statement said.
"The EIB is pleased to support this flagship project that will improve Georgia's quality and security of energy supply, as well as increase its possibilities for exporting and transiting electricity, notably from existing and new hydro-power plants," Eva Srejber, EIB Vice-President responsible for lending in Eastern Partner Countries (EPC) said.
An EIB press release said the project covered the construction of a 246km long 500kV link from Gardbani, close to Tbilisi, to Zestaponi, in central-western Georgia, the construction of a 700MW back-to-back converter station near Akhaltsikhe on the Turkish border and of a 165km long 400kV interconnection line from Akhaltsikhe to the Turkish electricity grid.
The Georgian government has embarked on a strategy to privatise more than 80 small and large green-field sites for hydro-power development. The project is a key element in Georgia's energy sector strategy, as it will provide the capacity required for power exports to Turkey. The implementation of the project is expected to have a signalling effect to attract private hydro-power plant investors to Georgia.
As the project will facilitate transmission of electricity produced through hydro-power, EIB funds will contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the project forms part of the Black Sea Electricity Ring (Russia - Ukraine - Romania - Bulgaria - Turkey - Georgia), which aims at promoting interoperability and operational reliability of electricity connections with non-EU Member States, and is hence of common EU interest.
Apart from the current loan, the EIB is currently preparing loans in Georgia totalling some $200 million in the fields of water supply and sanitation, transport infrastructure, SMEs and energy efficiency, as well as renewable energy.