The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved US$230 million to help finance developing and constructing the $1.1 billion 280-MW Nenskra hydropower project in Georgia.
According to Georgia Today, EBRD made the announcement on Jan. 31. The total allocation, of which $214 million will be a senior secured loan, includes $15 million as equity investment in JSC Nenskra Hydro, the company developing the plant.
Partnership Fund, Georgia’s state-owned shareholding company, also owns shares in JSC Nenskra Hydro.
Construction is scheduled to begin this year and be completed in 2021, but officials say the plant will begin generating energy in 2020.
JSC Nenskra Hydro says the plant is being built in the Nenskra and Nakra river valleys in Mestia municipality of the Svaneti region, in Northwest Georgia. The scheme includes: a 130-m-high dam that will impound Nenskra River, creating Nenskra Reservoir that will have a live storage of about 176 million m³.
The 12.5-km-long Nakra River transfer tunnel will divert water from behind Nakra Weir through Nakra Valley, connecting to Nenskra Reservoir.
The powerhouse is planned for the left bank of Nenskra River and will house three 93.3 MW vertical Pelton turbines. The Nenskra headrace tunnel will follow the left bank of Nenskra Valley and be about 15.1-km long, connecting to the penstock upstream of the powerhouse.
In 2017, Georgia’s Ministry of Planning and Finance and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank committed to financing the project with $8.7 million.
In August 2015, the Georgian government awarded the plant contract to Korea Water Resources Corp. (K-Water).
K-Water is implementing the contract on a build-operate-transfer model, which stipulates transfer of plant ownership to Georgia 36 years after its commissioning. Italian civil engineering firm, Salini Impregilo S.p.A., will construct the plant.
For more information on hydropower in Georgia, click here.