More than a year after Salini Impregilo, a major construction company, mysteriously abandoned the Nenskra hydropower project before construction had even begun, new contractors are now said to have been hired to build Georgia’s biggest and most divisive hydropower project. According to South Korean media, Hyundai Engineering & Construction (Hyundai E&C) and Limak have won a USD 737 million tender to realize the Nenskra project.
A leaked contract between the Georgian government and the company behind the Nenskra hydropower project includes terms that indicate the project will incur massive losses for the state, according to a report broadcast on 8 June by the national television station Rustavi 2.
As the realisation of the project keeps dragging on, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the EBRD, and all international financial institutions involved, to justify their engagement.
Successive international analyses have cast serious doubts over the financial viability of the planned Nenskra plant. While the Georgian government keeps the project’s contract confidential, a leaked World Bank report offers a scathing account of the fiscal implications of this hydropower development.
From the outside, this tragedy might seem like a natural disaster, a force majeure. But one cannot ignore the human factors at play. Community members in Georgia’s Upper Svaneti region and environmental groups, worried about the impacts of unchecked hydropower development, have long been warning that decision makers are overlooking the unstable seismological, geological and hydrological conditions in the area.
New information reveals the disproportionate price that Georgia’s government guarantees to pay for electricity from the Nenskra dam. The increasingly unfavourable economics strengthen calls to finally make the project’s contract publicly available.
An official assessment of land assets and livelihoods of people affected by the Nenskra hydropower plant in Georgia contains many mistakes and inaccuracies, as a report released today reveals. The shortcomings of the so-called Land Acquisition and Livelihood Restoration Plan, which is a prerequisite for public financing for the project, will cause severe damage to locals in the Svaneti region in Georgia.
The disproportionate impacts that the Nenskra hydropower project in Georgia will have on women are not being assessed by the project company, in spite of its financiers’ standards.