The Caucasus country is strengthening its potential for hydroelectric energy with the help of OeEB and Siemens Österreich and simultaneously securing the ability to exchange energy with Europe.
The "Rose Revolution" ushered in a new political era in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, but even today the country is struggling to catch up economically. The armed conflict with Russia in August 2008 and the global economic crisis were hard on Georgia. Foreign investors hardly dared to venture into this country in the Caucasus Mountains.
A precondition for the arrival of new investors and the beginning of an economic boom is the creation of a stable electricity supply network. The present one is insufficient and already at the limit of the needed capacity. In 2013, Georgia will finally reach an economic milestone: this is the year when the "Black Sea Energy Alliance" project will be finished and the inadequate Georgian energy supply network of the past will be history.
Connection to the West
Together with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the German KfW, OeEB is financing the new construction and renovation of transmission lines and substations in Georgia. The result will be an "Energy Bridge" that will create a connection from Georgia and its network to Turkey, and thus the West. The total investment volume of this large infrastructure project amounts to EUR 289 million. The OeEB's share amounts to EUR 20 million.
Order for Austrian companies
The plants have been built by Siemens Österreich, among other companies. The Austrian company is building a new substation in the city of Akhaltsikhe in the south of Georgia near the Turkish border. The existing switching systems in Zestafoni and Gardabani will be modernised and expanded. Furthermore, Siemens Österreich is delivering and installing the control technology, the protection technology, and the communication technology for these plants.