Armenian thermal plant to supply energy to Georgia

A new thermal power plant to be built in Armenia will supply electricity to neighboring Georgia, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Yervand Zakharian said recently. The announcement was made after a corresponding agreement was finalized with representatives of the company, Anaklia IEP Holding, on the second and final day of Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili’s visit to Yerevan.

IEP Anaklia will invest about $600 million in building the natural gas-fired plant at an unspecified location in Armenia. The facility will be equipped with turbines manufactured by General Electric and have a design capacity of 540 MW, the government said. A statement by the Armenian Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources said that in return Yerevan will give the obscure investor tax breaks, guarantee “supplies of sufficient volumes of gas” to the plant and facilitate the export of its electricity.

The two governments are expected to increase the capacity of a new Georgian-Armenian power transmission line currently under construction and the neighbouring states will be able to more than triple mutual electricity supplies after the new line goes on stream in 2018. It is unclear who owns Anaklia IEP and why it decided to launch the large-scale energy project. Anaklia is also the name a coastal town in western Georgia where the Georgian government plans to build a new Black Sea port with a liquefied natural gas terminal.