Iran to build hydroelectric power plants in Georgia

February 18, 2016 - 0:0

TEHRAN- Iran and Georgia discussed ways of economic cooperation and made agreements on the expansion of electricity ties, said Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian in a press conference on Tuesday after his meeting with Kakha Kaladze, the Georgian energy minister.

Chitchian said, “The agreements were made in three general areas, first, Iran would set up hydroelectric power plants in Georgia since Iranian companies have the adequate experience in building dams and power plants and, Georgia, by the way, enjoys great capacity in the field of electricity.”

Second, he added, Iran would collaborate with Georgia in development and renovation of the Georgia’s electricity network.

Finally, Chitchian noted, building electricity transmission lines between the two countries were discussed, saying that if the project comes on stream the two sides would trade electricity on the basis of their different peak times of demand.

According to Chitchian, Iran, Georgia, Russia, and Armenia had conferred about building electricity transmission lines in December and they are set to continue their negotiations in Georgian capital, Tbilisi, by next April.

In June 2015, Iran and Armenia agreed to work on their third electricity transmission line which would raise the trading capacity between the two countries to 1200 megawatts (MW).

Referring to the Iran-Armenia electricity transmission line, Chitchian said, the structure could also be used for trading electricity with Georgia through Armenia.

The Iranian minister mentioned trading electricity with Georgia is also possible through Azerbaijan.

The substation for the 400- and 300-kilovolt (KV) in Iran’s border city, Parsabad, he said, has the capacity to supply the trade of 500 MW of electricity between Iran and Georgia.

*** Iranian firms encouraged to participate in Georgia’s industries

Kaladze, for his part, said the Iranian companies have the sufficient technology and means of implementing projects in the power sector of Georgia, adding that exchange of electricity is another area of collaboration between the two sides.

Kaladze told Tehran Times that there are many potentials in Georgia that Iranian companies can invest on, in specific, they could tap into Georgia’s water supplies and launch joint projects with Georgian companies.

He further noted that his country welcomes the removal of sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program, yet, presence of Iranian companies in Georgia has nothing to do with sanctions and they have the opportunity to expand their activities in Georgia.

*** Georgia seeking Iran’s investment in building power plants

The Georgian minister further noted that his country is seeking Iranian investment in the construction of its power plants.

He said there are 25000 rivers in Georgia, 300 of which could be used as a source for setting up power plants, adding that, upon the interest of Iranian companies, the projects, especially on building power plants, will be entirely assigned to them.

Currently, he said, only 18 to 20 percent of Georgia’s water supplies are used for generating power, a figure which the country intends to ramp up.

Georgia is also planning to put $700 million into renovating the country’s electricity systems, facilities, and equipment, Kaladze said.

The Georgian minister announced that as of February 15, visa requirements between the two countries have been removed, a move which would develop tourism industry and economy of both countries.