Georgia’s largest hydropower plant set for upgrade with EBRD and EU backing

16 February 2024

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced it is providing a sovereign loan of €28 million to facilitate the modernization and rehabilitation of the Enguri hydropower plant, the largest electricity facility in Georgia. This initiative is complemented by a grant of €7.05 million from the European Union (EU).

The funding, directed to Engurhesi LTD, the plant's operating company, is slated to address critical issues concerning the structural integrity of the Enguri dam, alongside essential repairs to the underground tunnel and penstock. These measures aim to enhance the plant's operational reliability and ensure a more sustainable power generation and grid system. Moreover, the investment will be used to help minimize water leakages within the headrace tunnel while unlocking opportunities for additional renewable energy production. The allocated funds will also facilitate the construction of vital infrastructure, including roads for dam monitoring, improvements to electricity grid safety and reliability, and the establishment of a fish passage downstream of the Enguri dam.

Constructed in the 1970s, the Enguri hydropower plant, along with the Vardnili hydropower plants, forms a crucial energy complex that meets approximately 30% of Georgia's electricity demands, playing a pivotal role in driving economic growth and stability.

The EBRD's involvement in the Enguri hydropower plant's rehabilitation dates back to 1998. This latest financial injection builds upon previous rehabilitation phases supported by the EU, aligning with the EU's Global Gateway Strategy. This strategy, implemented through the Economic and Investment Plan, aims to fortify energy, digital, and transport connectivity in the Eastern Neighbourhood region, with particular emphasis on Georgia.

Overall, the EBRD, in collaboration with its donors, has channelled approximately €205 million into supporting the Enguri plant since 1998, signifying a sustained commitment to Georgia's energy sector.

With the EBRD's cumulative investments in Georgia reaching around €5 billion across 290 projects, predominantly in the private sector, this initiative marks another significant step towards fostering sustainable development and energy independence in the region.

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