The Enguri hydropower plant, Abkhazia’s main energy supplier, resumed its operation on February 28 following a temporary shutdown for monitoring the pressure tunnel.
During the monitoring period, which was launched on February 19 as part of the initial preparatory works for a larger rehabilitation project scheduled for 2018, power for the region was supplied by the Russian side and the deficit was covered by Georgia, as noted in the statement of the Georgian Energy Ministry released on February 21.
Speaking at a news briefing on March 3, Aslan Basaria, head of the Abkhaz state-owned energy company Chernomorenergo, said that the Enguri hydropower plant will be able to meet Abkhazia’s energy demand from early April.
“If there will be no cold weather, we will be able to easily move to our own resources by late March or early April. At this point, power to Abkhazia is supplied by the Russian Federation,” Basaria explained.
Breakaway Abkhazia fully relies on electricity generated by the Enguri hydropower plant, whose 271.5-meter-tall concrete arch dam is located on the Georgian side of the administrative border and its five generators are on the Abkhaz side in Gali district.
According to a long-standing, informal agreement between Tbilisi and Sokhumi 40% of the electricity generated by the plant goes to Abkhazia and the rest 60% is received by rest of Georgia.
In 2015 Georgia distributed 1,797 million kWh electricity to Abkhazia, 17.31% of Georgia’s overall consumption, according to Georgia’s Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission’s report. In 2014 and 2013 Abkhazia was supplied by 1,638 million kWh electricity (16.11%) and 1,605 million kWh electricity (16.57%) respectively.