Tag Archives: hydropower

Kyrgyzstan wants to build road through nature park

APRIL 10 2024 (The Bulletin) — Environmentalists in Kyrgyzstan criticised government plans to build a road through an area in the west of the country that is admired for its mountain scenery ahead of the construction of a hydropower project. The Besh-Aral Nature Reserve is also a UNESCO World Heritage site but government ministers have said that the hydropower project and the road will create hundreds of much needed jobs in the region.


— This story was published in issue 564 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on April 15 2024

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Georgian PM says he wants new terms on controversial dam

TBILISI/JUNE 9 2021 (The Bulletin) — After months of protests, Georgian PM Irakli Garibashvili said that he wanted to renegotiate the terms that Turkish construction company Enka and Norway’s Clean Energy Group were given to build and run the Namakhavani Hydropower Plant in the Rioni Valley in the west of the country. 

Protesters have said that the project, slated to be Georgia’s biggest hydropower plant, damages the countryside and is too lenient towards the foreign investors. The government has said that the Namakhavani Hydropower Plant is vital for its future energy generation projects as it will boost energy production by 15% and must go ahead.

Protesters have blocked access to the site for the past seven months and staged rallies in both Kutaisi and Tbilisi which have attracted thousands of people. Police have made several arrests at some of the protests in the Rioni Valley after clashes with demonstrators.

Enka Renewables, in which Enka owns a 90% stake and Clean Energy Groups owns a 10% stake, signed an $800m deal to build and run the Namakhavani hydropower plant with Georgia in April 2019. 


— This story was published in issue 48 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on June 16 2021

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Georgia suspends controversial hydro-dam project

TBILISI/MARCH 12 (The Bulletin) — Apparently bowing to pressure from environmentalists and local residents, the Georgian government suspended work on the construction of its Namakhvani Hydro Power Project. 

Natia Turneva, the Georgian economy minister, said that the project had been suspended to allow for extra studies on the “reliability and safety” of the project. 

“This is a very important large hydropower plant with an installed capacity of 430 MW. It will bring in $800 million in foreign direct investments,” she said.

This is the line that the government has consistently taken with the project, one of the most controversial energy projects in Georgia.

Police and demonstrators have clashed near the construction site of the Namakhvani HPP on the Rioni River in the foothills of the Caucasus mountains. It is slated to be the largest power plant in Georgia when it is complete, generating 15% of Georgia’s energy.

Ms Turneva said that Georgian experts and institutions would be hired to carry out independent surveys of the impact of the dam on the environment and on local communities and that a $1.5m Rioni Gorge Development Fund would be set up to help people relocate.

The hydropower project, which is being developed in two parts — a Lower Namakhvani HPP (333 MW) and the Upper Namakhvani HPP (100 MW) — is being financed by international donors, including the Norway-based Clean Energy Group, and is being constructed by Enka, Turkey’s largest construction company.

Protesters, who complain about the environmental damage and the forced resettling of people from the area, have blocked access to the site for more than four months. They said that the government couldn’t suspend the project as construction work had not started yet.


— This story was published in issue 475 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on March 15 2021

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Georgian Capital buys up renewable energy

TBILISI/Feb. 27 2020 (The Bulletin) —  — Georgian Capital, the conglomerate that owns most of Georgia Healthcare, schools around Tbilisi, a property development company and a beer producer, said that it had returned to profit in 2019 after reporting a loss in 2018. The London-listed company also said that it was buying the 34% of Georgian Renewable Power Company that it didn’t already own from RP Global for $13.8m. This may rise by up to $4.5m if electricity price rise in 2023-5. 

The Georgian Renewable Power Company owns wind farms and hydropower stations. 

Georgia Capital chairman and CEO Irakli Gilauri said of the deal: “The minority acquisition gives us greater flexibility to execute our planned growth strategy to become a key player in the fast-growing Georgian electricity market.” Georgia has been emphasising green power.


— This story was first published in issue 438 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2020

CASA-1000 to be delayev

FEB. 4 (The Conway Bulletin) — The Afghan company building part of the CASA-1000 power-line that will link Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan with Pakistan said the project will be delayed for eight months because of a delay in deals to build substations in Pakistan and Tajikistan. CASA-1000 is being funded primarily by the World Bank and it is considered a vital project for the economies of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It was meant to be finished at the end of 2018.

>This story was first published in issue 399 of The Conway Bulletin on Feb. 8 2019
Copyright The Conway Bulletin 2019

Russia is looking at funding Kyrgyz hydro projects once again

DEC. 22 (The Conway Bulletin) — Russia is, apparently, looking at potentially funding hydropower projects in Kyrgyzstan two years after it pulled out of a $700m deal to finance the development of the Kambar-Ata-1 hydropower station and four smaller projects along the Upper Naryn River. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty quoted Russian deputy PM Arkady Dvorkovich as hinting that Russia was looking again at potential projects. Kyrgyzstan has not found an alternative funder for the Upper Naryn river projects since Russia pulled out.


— This story was first published on Jan. 5 2018 in issue 356 of The Conway Bulletin

Kyrgyz-Czech hydropower project deal is scrapped

SEPT. 18  (The Bulletin) — A deal lauded by Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev only three months ago as proof that Kyrgyzstan can attract major foreign direct investment has been scrapped. Kyrgyz PM Sapar Isakov announced the deal was dead after it became clear that Liglass, the Czech company, had no way of paying $37m to Russia by mid-September to takeover construction of the major Upper Naryn Cascade hydropower project.


— This story was first published in issue 344 of The Conway Bulletin, now called the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on Sept. 24 2017.

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2017

Investors snap up first Tajik sovereign debt issue

DUSHANBE, SEPT. 7 2017 (The Conway Bulletin) — Investors snapped up Tajikistan’s first sovereign bond issue, surprising Central Asia analysts who said the auction came with huge risk.

The $500m Eurobond issue came with a coupon of 7.125%, which analysts said was around 200 basis points more than the price paid by other frontier economies for debt. It is set to mature in 2027.

Tajikistan, considered the poorest of the Central Asian countries with an economy reliant on remittances, has said it wants to raise the cash to pay for construction of the giant Rogun Dam.
Lutz Roehmeyer, director at Landesbank Berlin Investment, invested in some of the debt.

“They don’t want to splash out the money on any nonsense, they want to build a dam and produce electricity which would be a massive boost for the local economy,” he was quoted by Reuters as saying. The Rogun dam is part of a wider project to supply electricity generated by hydroelectric power to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Tajikistan has a reputation for corruption and analysts warned that investing in Tajikistan was a gamble. Last year, the government bailed out its commercial banks.

Max Lambertson of the EIU said yields on investment grade debt around the world were currently so poor that investors were looking at far riskier options to find profit.

“Investors typically show little interest in Tajikistan, which has a poor record with foreign investors and multilaterals,” he said.


— This story was first published in issue 343 of The Conway Bulletin on Sept. 15 2017

Czech investors in Kyrgyzstan’s hydro projects may be a false company

BISHKEK, JULY 17 2017 (The Bulletin) — The Czech company that Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev was lauding for agreeing a multi-million-dollar deal to build new hydropower stations may not even exist.

Less than a week after a triumphant Mr Atambayev was quoted in media talking up Liglass, a company based in a provincial Czech town, as the new backers of a hydropower project that Russia backed out of in 2015, it has emerged that even his own diplomats were warning him that the company only appears to exist on paper.

Kyrgyzstan has staked much of its future economic potential on developing its hydropower. The deal was considered important because

Russia’s Rushydro pulled out of a $700m agreement to develop the hydropower stations in 2015.

Liglass had, according to Mr Atambayev, promised to pay $37m for a 50% stake in the Upper Naryn HPP, which includes two major hydropower projects, and to build and operate a string of smaller hydropower stations.


Copyright ©Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin — all rights reserved

(News report from Issue No. 337, published on July 27 2017)


Czech firm buys into Kyrgyz hydropower

BISHKEK, JULY 10 2017 (The Bulletin) — Liglass Trading, a Czech company, signed a deal with the Kyrgyz government to buy into a major hydropower project that Russia pulled out of in December 2015 after a drop in oil prices and US-led sanctions triggered an economic recession.

The deal means Liglass will pay $37m for a 50% stake in Upper Naryn HPP, the company created to build and operate the Akbulun and Naryn-1 hydropower plants. It will also build 10 smaller hydro stations by end-202o.

Kyrgyz president Almazbek Atambayev hailed the deal.

“The arrival of large-scale private investment in Europe will serve as a strong signal to potential investors from around the world, confirming the readiness of Kyrgyzstan to create all the necessary conditions for doing business and effective implementation of mutually beneficial joint projects,” he was quoted as saying in a government press release.

RusHydro had planned to invest more than $700m into Kyrgyz hydropower before it quit in 2015.


Copyright ©Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin — all rights reserved

(News report from Issue No. 336, published on July 16 2017)