At the traditional briefing of 17 April 2012 the press-speaker of the President of Georgia declared that “The construction of one more plant will begin in Svaneti in a few days. Mikheil Saakashvili will personally inspect the works administered at the construction of Nenskra hydroelectric power plant”.
Nenskra project involves construction and operation of hydropower plant with the installed capacity of 300 MW. The construction will commence in two stages: at the first stage 210 MW hydropower plant with rockfill dam of 140m height and the reservoir with storage capacity of 200 million m3 at 10 km distance from Tita village (Chuberi community) will be constructed on the Nenskra river. At the second stage it is planned to divert water from Nakra river to Nenskra river through 11.8 km long diversion channel and thus increase capacity of the plant by additional 90MW.
The project will have a significant negative impact on both Nenskra and Nakra valleys, as well as their ecosystems. 400 hectares of virgin forest will be cleared up in high mountains of Svaneti thus totally changing the local landscape. The reservoirs of Nenskra and Khudoni HPPs will have a cumulative impact on local climate and therefore on human health and agriculture practices. Melting of ice glaciers will be activated in the areas directly affected by the project (due to 2.30C rise in annual average temperature within a radius of 5 km). The project also involves disposal of 330 000 m3 waste rock at the valley adjacent to the project site and clearance of valley slopes from vegetation.
At the public consultation meeting held on 23 February 2012 in Mestia the majority of the local population expressed their negative attitude towards the construction of Nenskra HPP.
The project has not yet been granted either environmental consent or construction permit. Thus, the President of Georgia will take part in the ceremony marking illegal construction. With such action, the president is exerting pressure on permitting authorities; he is also neglecting fair concern of Georgian population over construction of large dams.
For 17 April 2012 traditional briefing of the press-speaker of the President of Georgia, visit: http://www.president.gov.ge/en/PressOffice/News/Briefings/?p=7467&i=1