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On September 9 the President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, visited the Samtskhe-Javakheti region and toured the construction site of the Paravani and Mtkvari hydro-electric power plants. He was accompanied by the Prime Minister, Nika Gilauri, and the Minister of Energy, Alexander Khetaguri, who provided the President with information regarding work that is being planned for 2011-2012. Saakashvili expressed his interest in the capacity of hydro-electric power plants, possibility of exporting electricity and reviewed the likelihood of the development of this sphere in Georgia. As the prime minister noted in conversation with the president, the Paravani hydro-electric power plant will start functioning at the end of 2013 and the Mtkvari plant will be available in 2015.

A Turkish company "Georgian Urban Energy" is administering the construction projects, however most of the workers (more than 300 people) are from the local community. Work is currently taking place on the main part of the superstructure - the water tunnel. More than 600 workers are employed on the construction of both plants. Saakashvili also expressed interest in the working conditions of these employees.

The president stated that most of the construction will be complete in 2015 which will guarantee the doubling of hydro-electric power generation capacity. Regarding the construction workers, Saakashvili said that by next year 12,800 workers will be employed in this area. “Taking into consideration the fact that 10-15 thousand workers are already employed on infrastructure projects, the number of employed workers will reach about 30 thousand next year,” he said and added that their current salaries ranged from 500 to 1000 GEL.

As Khetaguri noted, the capacity of the Paravani plant is 78 mega watts and it generates 425 kilo watts per hour, which gives Georgia the opportunity to export electricity. So far 125 million USD has been invested in the Paravani plant construction.

Monday, September 12

The capacity of Mtkvari plant will be 43 mega watts. A Georgian company "Caucasus Energy and Infrastructure" is administering its construction and the project is worth 65 million USD in investments.

"The Javakheti region was the most abandoned region of Georgia, but now it has begun developing faster than any other region. I think that construction of hydro-electric plants should become our mark in the world market. In this regard, we will constantly have jobs for workers for the next 15-20 years. Along with this, we should learn to produce turbines and take them to the world market. This is very important. We had world class hydro-electric power plant technicians in the 80s. Enguri has been built completely by Georgians; they brought Russians only for political purposes,” Saakashvili stated.

The president highlighted that Georgian people should learn how to build hydro-electric power plants well and for this reason people should be sent to Asia, Africa and Europe. “We are not a failed and economically inexperienced country, where foreigners should come and build things. We are gaining appropriate experience and now is a unique moment to export it. A professional generation should follow after this construction. A hydro technical lab is also under construction,” Saakashvili announced in conclusion.
NRGY (in GEL) 0.8500

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