6 Dec 2010 17:00

Georgia planning to export electricity through Turkey to Middle East

TBILISI. Dec 6 (Interfax) - Georgia is planning to export electrical power to Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries, an opportunity it will have in 2012 when a high-tension power line to Turkey is put into use, Georgian Energy Minister Alexander Khetaguri told the press on Monday.

"We've presented the Turks with a draft agreement on the transit of electrical energy, and at the end of December a working group will leave for Ankara to hammer out all the necessary details," Khetaguri said. Active work is needed for the "agreement on transit to already be prepared" by 2012.

The building of the 500-kilovolt line from Georgia to Turkey is being carried out under a project for the expansion of the Black Sea electrical-transmission system. The price tag is around EUR 300 million, EUR 268 million of which is from credits and grants from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD),the European Investment Bank, the German bank KfW, and the European Union, and the rest is being co-financed by Georgia. The project operator is LLC Georgian State Electric System (GSE), which this past July concluded a contract with India's KEC International and Austria's Siemens, which had won an international tender.

At present, electricity flows between Georgia and Turkey through Adjara along the 220-kilovolt Adjara power lines.

The Georgian Energy Ministry reported exports of 1.414 billion kWt hours of electricity to Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Turkey during the period Jan-Oct this year. That was double the amount the country exported in the same ten months of 2009.