At the moment 35 hydropower plants are slated for development in the Upper Svaneti region of Georgia. All of them are located in the Enguri river basin. Most of the plants (25) are located on the territory of the planned Upper Svaneti national park and the Upper Svaneti protected landscape.
The rush to build hydropower plants in Georgia is not backed by any energy strategy and without regard for the combined environmental consequences and socio-economic impacts.
Five out of these plants are large dams exceeding 200 MW of capacity each. The remaining ones are run-of-river projects whose capacity is varying from 3 to 75 MW. Pre-construction works have commenced on the Nenskra HPP, concession agreements have been signed on 5 projects, two plants have been offered for investment, 9 plants are in an advanced planning stage and 17 plants are potential.
1. The location of the plants is only approximate because GPS coordinates of the hydropower plants are lacking from the official documents.
2. Protected areas include two proposed protected areas in Upper Svaneti, the Upper Svaneti National Park and the Upper Svaneti Protected Landscape). Both are located on the territory of the administrative district of Mestia at the altitude of 600 – 5,200 m above the sea level.
3. Stage of development:
- Potential projects – those for which preliminary assessments exists and/or no obvious activity has been going on during the last few years.
- Planned projects – those where some activity seems to be going on but they have not been offered for concession and are not yet under construction.
- Offered for investment – the project has been subject to some kind of process for offering a concession or finding a strategic investor but that no concession has been awarded yet.
- Concession awarded – a concession has been awarded for the project and not terminated, or if it has been cancelled it has been awarded to a new project sponsor.