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Russia involved in Energy of Georgia and new hydropower plants under the auspices of Inter RAO

Wednesday, 13 July 2022 10:36 hits 5109 times

Which HPPs in Georgia are owned by Russian companies or citizens? Why are these hydropower plants especially important for the country's energy security? How did the "National Movement" and now the "Georgian Dream" contribute to the increase of energy dependence on Russia? Why the Georgian government is concluding contracts with the Russian company Inter RAO for the construction of new hydropower plants in parallel with the war in Ukraine, assuming that the directors of the Inter RAO board of directors are sanctioned by the United States, Great Britain, and Australia.

"Khramhesi I" and "Khramhesi II"

The nameplate capacity of both hydropower plants together is 227.2 MW. The reservoir is part of the infrastructure of "Khramhesi I", the area of ​​which is 1060 square kilometers and 312 million. It can hold cubic meters of water. Water accumulation begins in April and lasts until July, which ensures that the HPP operates at full capacity. "Khramhesi I" and "Khramhesi II" were built during the Soviet era and were put into operation in 1947 and 1963. The construction of the Khrami Cascade, which included four HPPs, was planned, but the construction projects for the third and fourth HPPs were no longer implemented.

Khramhesi I and Khramhesi II were established in 1996 as joint-stock companies. The state of Georgia owned 100% of the shares. On December 22, 1999, the state transferred the exclusive management and dividends of Khramhesi I and Khramhesi II to AES Georgia Holdings B.V. for a period of 25 years. In 2003, AES Georgia Holdings B.V was acquired by the Russian company Inter RAO, which is controlled by Russian state-owned companies.

On March 31, 2011, a Memorandum was signed between the State of Georgia and Inter RAO on the Development of Cooperation in the Electricity Sector and the Implementation of Agreements Reached. Under the terms of the purchase agreement, 100% of the shares in Khramhesi I and Khramhesi II will be transferred to the Netherlands-based Gardabani Holding B.V., a subsidiary of Inter RAO.

Aleksandre Khetaguri, the then Minister of Energy of Georgia, stated that he had to pay $ 104 million to both Inter RAO HPPs by November 2011. Also, "Inter RAO" has committed to build three new hydropower plants in the Khrami River basin by 2016, with an installed capacity of 90-100 MW. The Russian company had to invest $ 193 million in the construction of new hydropower plants.

Inter RAO did not build any of the three new HPPs. On March 16, we requested the privatization agreement from the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia for the shares of Khramhesi I and Khramhesi II in order to clarify the liability of the contract in case of non-fulfillment of the obligations assumed by the investor. All the deadlines set by the legislation of Georgia for issuing public information have passed, but the Ministry did not provide us with the document. "Mountain News" started an administrative dispute on this issue.

According to the transmission plan development plan of Georgia for 2018-2028, "Khrami HPP 3" with an installed capacity of 16 MW, "Khrami HPP 4" with a capacity of 15 MW, and "Khrami HPP 5" with a capacity of 20 MW are under study. The document, approved by the government on December 8, 2017, does not specify the date of commissioning of any of the three HPPs.

The main shareholder of Inter RAO is the Russian state company Rosneftegaz (27.63%). 8.57% of the shares belong to the Federal Energy System Network of the United Energy System (ФСК ЕЭС), 80% of which is owned by the Russian company "Rossett". For its part, Rosneftegazia is the owner of the controlling stake in Rossetti. The share of "Inter RAO Capital" is 29.56%, 34.24% of the shares are in free circulation.

Boris Kovalchuk is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Inter RAO. On March 11, 2022, he was included in the list of those sanctioned by the United States Department of the Treasury. The deputy chairman of the council is Dmitry Shugaev, who is also the director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation under the Russian Ministry of Defense. On March 12, 2022, he was sanctioned by the US State Department as a high-ranking official in the Russian Defense Ministry. Shugaev is also sanctioned by the governments of Australia and the United Kingdom. The non-executive chairman of the board of directors of Inter RAO is Igor Sechin - a Russian oligarch, former state official, CEO of the Russian oil and gas company Rosneft. On February 24, 2022, it was included in the list of sanctions imposed by the US Treasury Department, and on March 10, sanctions were imposed by the United Kingdom.

"Khramhesi I" and "Khramhesi II" are governed by a supervisory board, which includes: Russian citizens Sergei Perevedentsev (Chairman); Svetlana Ivanichkina and Andrei Churilov (members).

According to the Electricity Market Operator, both hydropower plants generated 399.1 million kWh of electricity in 2020, which is 3.6% of the generated electricity. In 2021, Khrami HPP I and Khrami HPP II generated 529.1 million kWh of electricity, which is 4.18% of the electricity generated in the country.

According to the financial statements audited by the auditing company "EY" Ltd., as of December 31, 2020, the assets of "Khramhesi I" were 58 million GEL, "Khramhesi II" 103 million GEL. From 2016 to 2020, Khramhesi I's profit remained at 37.7 million GEL, while Khramhesi II's profit was 53.7 million GEL.

Both hydropower plants are of regulatory type. What does regulating HPP mean? It is a reservoir hydropower plant that can regulate output.

There are a total of 7 regulating hydropower plants in Georgia: Enguri HPP, Vardnil HPP, Khram HPP I, Khram HPP II, Shaor HPP, Dzevruli HPP, and Zhinval HPP.

What problems will the shutdown of Khramhesi I and Khramhesi II create in the operation of the country's energy system? According to Zviad Gachechiladze, First Deputy Head of the Electricity Department of the Georgian National Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (GNERC), the shutdown of the Khrami HPPs will have the same severe effect as the shutdown of the Enguri HPP in the West. Enguri HPP is the largest hydroelectric power plant with an installed capacity of 1300 MW.

"Of these 7 regulating HPPs, the frequency is mainly regulated by Enguri HPP, Khram HPP I and Khram HPP II. Turning off the Zhinvali or Shaorhes would not be as troublesome as shutting down the Khrami HPPs.

First the frequency will deteriorate, the balance between east and west will not be maintained. We may have a shortage of electricity and we will need to import it, ”said Zviad Gachechiladze.

Khrami I and Khrami II have the same director - Devi Kandelaki, who until October 20, 2021, owned 100% of the shares of Mtsire Energy Ltd. For its part, “Mtsire Energy” was the owner of “Prime Energy” Ltd. "Mtsire Energy" owned a small hydropower plant in Kobuleti district - Achihes, which generated 6.3 million kWh of electricity in 2021, "Prime Energy" owned Intsobahes in Kvareli district. On October 21 last year, Devi Kandelaki sold Mtsire Energy Ltd. to CCH Hydro VIII Ltd. for $ 3.7 million. The owner of this company is Caucasus Clean Energy Holdings Pte, registered in Singapore. Limited. "


The Russian company Inter RAO owns by the joint-stock company Telasi, which is the only electricity distribution company in Tbilisi - serving 697,400 customers.

"Telasi" was registered as a joint-stock company in May 1995 and was a state-owned enterprise. In 1998, 75% of the company's shares were acquired by the American company AES Silk Road Holdings B.V. In August 2003, AES Silk Road Holdings B.V was acquired by Finnish company RAO Nordic Oy, owned by the Russian company Inter RAO. Inter RAO still owns 75% of Telasi. Until August 2020, 25% of the shares belonged to the Georgian State Investment Fund - "Partnership Fund", from which a private company "Best Energy Group" LLC bought for 10.5 million USD. The owner of 100% of Best Energy Group is Khvicha Makatsaria, one of the founders of the large holding company CBS Group. The holding combines Tbilisi Minibus, Tbilisi Energy, Caucasus Online with a 51% stake, National Lottery Company and other assets. The holding owns shares in the third largest mobile operator in the country - "Vion". "Vion Georgia" is represented by "Beeline" brand. The company is owned offshore by two companies registered in the British Virgin Islands: WaterTrail Industries Ltd - 71% and Investico Alliance - 29%. According to the information published on the website of "Beeline", "Vion Georgia" is part of the international group "VEON", which is registered in the Netherlands. 47.9% of VEON is owned by Letterone Investment Holdings S.A., founded and controlled by Russian businessman Mikhail Friedman.

The total length of the Tbilisi power grid is 6,289 kilometers. Telasi owns 36 degreasers and 2,169 transformer substations, employing 1,890 people.

General Director of Telasi is Sergey Kobtsev, a citizen of the Russian Federation. The Chairman of the Supervisory Board is Dmitry Volkov - Head of the Asset Management Unit of Inter RAO in Central Asia and Transcaucasia; The members of the Board are - Alexander Abramkov, Advisor to the Chairman of the Board of the Bank GPB (JSC); Yuri Makhov - Deputy Director of the North-West Branch of JSC Oboronergo in the field of electricity transportation; Sergei Samarin - Head of Production Development, Inter RAO, Technical Policy Department; Koba Ghurtskaia, one of the two Georgian members of the Council, is a dual Georgian-Russian citizen.

Georgian-Armenian partnership under the auspices of Inter RAO - Tskhenistskali 1 HPP and Zeskho 1 HPP

Zurab Gelenidze is another Georgian member of the Supervisory Board of Telasi. He is the Deputy Director of the Board.

Zurab Gelenidze owns 85% of the shares in Hydro Invest Ltd and is also the director of the same company. The enterprise is registered on March 23, 2021. For its part, Hydro Invest owns 50% of the shares in Hydro Invest GA LLC, registered on March 25 of the same year. The rest (50%) belongs to Karen Harutyunyan, an Armenian citizen.

Hydro Invest GA has applied for the construction of two HPPs in Kvemo Svaneti, Lentekhi Municipality.

For the construction of a 21.85 MW hydropower plant (Tskhenistskali 1 HPP) on the Tskhenistskali River, the project envisages 2.4 m for almost 8 km (7788 m) of the Tskhenistskali River. The diameter of the metal in the pipeline. The cost of the project is $ 21 million.

The company wants to build a 20.3 MW hydroelectric power plant (Zeskho - 1 HPP) on the river Zeskho and Koruldashi. A public hearing on the scoping report is scheduled for May 3, 2022, at 2:00 p.m., in the village of Tsana. According to the project, the river Zeskho will be turned into a metal pipeline at 3.1 km, and the river Koruldash at 5.3 km. The cost of the project is over $ 9 million. Comments and opinions regarding the scoping documentation can be submitted to the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture until May 5.

Another hydroelectric power plant, Zeskho 2 HPP, is planned to be built in Zeskho-Tsani gorge.

Karen Harutyunyan, the general manager of Electric Networks of Armenia also owns a 50% stake in “Hydro Invest GA.”

Since 2006, JSC Armenian Electric Networks has been a member of the Russian energy company Inter RAO. On September 30, 2015, an agreement was signed between Inter RAO and Tashir Group of Companies on the purchase of electricity assets in Armenia. This was preceded by Inter RAO's decision to increase electricity tariffs in Armenia, which was followed by mass protests in Yerevan. The tariff has not been increased, but Inter RAO has announced that it will work on accumulating and losing debts. The handover of "Armenian power grids" to Tashir was then welcomed in Yerevan, as it was thought that Armenia's energy had been somewhat freed from Russian influence, although experts also suggested that it was a "Russian project" and that Russia would not lose its influence.

"Tashir" unites more than 200 companies in different sectors of the economy of the Russian Federation. The president of "Tashir" is Samvel Karapetyan. He was born in 1965 in Tashir, Armenia, and moved to Russia in the 1990s and settled in Kaluga. In 1999, he founded the company Tashir, which has become the largest group of federal importance for 20 years.

One of the activities of the Tashir Group is energy. According to the official website of the company, "Tashir" has been part of "Armenian Electric Networks" since 2015, whose main activity is the distribution and sale of electricity on the territory of Armenia.

70% of Electric Networks in Armenia is owned by Tashir Capital; Liormand Holdings Limited, established in 2010 in Cyprus, owns 30%.

A report by the Asian Development Bank on a support project for Electric Networks of Armenia states that Tashir International Holding Limited, a Cyprus-based company, owns 100% of Liormand Holdings Limited. Both Tashir Capital and Tashir Holdings are owned by businessman Samvel Karapetyan and his family. Thus, Samvel Karapetyan and his family are 100% owners of "Armenian Electric Networks".

Karen Darbinyan and Karen Harutyunyan / Photo ©

On April 15, 2022, according to the minutes of the meeting of the partners of Hydro Invest GA Ltd., Karen Harutyunyan gave 50% of his share, 33.2% in total, free of charge to the citizens of Armenia, Aik Darbinian, not born in 1993 and born in 1994. Both of them are registered at the same address in Yerevan - Achapnyak, Shiraz st. House 48, Apartment 61.

According to the electronic register of the Republic of Armenia, Karen Darbinyan, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Directors of Electric Networks of Armenia, is registered at the same address. No and Aiki are her children. This information was confirmed to "Mtis Ambebi" by the head of the media and public relations department of "Armenian Electric Networks" Natalia Sarjanyan.

Larsi HPP and Shilda HPP

Energia Ltd, which owns two hydropower plants in Georgia (Larsi HPP and Shilda HPP), was established in 2010. 70% of the company is owned by Mevlud Bliadze, a citizen of the Russian Federation, and 30% is owned by Feri Ltd. Larsi HPP was built in 2013 in Kazbegi district, near the Larsi checkpoint on the Georgian-Russian border, on the river Terg. Its installed capacity is 19.5 MW. In 2021, it generated 74.4 million kWh of electricity.

"Shilda HPP" was built in 2013 in Kakheti, Kvareli district, on the river Celti. The installed capacity of the HPP is 5 MW and it generated 18 million kWh of electricity last year. Annually it's 30 million. KWh to generate electricity. The Ministry of Economy did not provide us with public information as to why the actual generation lags behind that originally envisaged by the project, for example in the case of the Shield HPP, Lars HPP and other HPPs. The Ministry did not respond to our question as to whether any inspections had been carried out in the last 5 years to verify the potential for hydropower generation.

Mevlud Bliadze was born in 1952 in Georgia. He also received his higher education in Tbilisi, he is a builder of bridges and tunnels. Since 1993 he has been leading the closed joint-stock company "Pylon", which is a leading company in the field of road construction in St. Petersburg. Mevlud Bliadze has been awarded the "Honorary Builder of Russia" award for his contribution to the development of the road and bridge industry.

Dariali HPP

Energy Ltd is currently a shareholder of the joint stock company "Dariali Energy". The company owns the Dariali HPP in Kazbegi, on the Georgian-Russian border, which is one of the largest hydropower plants in the country. The installed capacity of the HPP is 108 MW. 509.6 million in 2021. KWh generated electricity, which is more than 4% of the electricity generated in the country last year.

Initially, in 2011, when the Georgian government signed a memorandum with Dariali Energy on the construction, operation and ownership of the HPP, Energia Ltd was not among the founders of the company. At the time of the Memorandum of Understanding, Darial Energy was a limited liability company with two owners: the US-registered Robbins Company with a 30% stake and Feri Ltd. with a 70% stake.

In September 2011, as a result of the reorganization, Dariali Energy Ltd was transformed into a joint-stock company. The new shareholder of the company became the "Georgian Energy Development Fund", 100% of which is owned by the state. The fund bought 30% of the share capital of Dariali Energy for 10 million USD. Only 40% of the 70% of the shares of "Feri" Ltd remained.

According to a report by Green Alternative, in August 2013, JSC Dariali Energy stated that due to financial problems, the development of the project was in jeopardy and the completion of the project may have been postponed indefinitely. In a letter to the Minister of Energy Kakha Kaladze on August 14, 2013, the company offered the Minister the only way out of the current situation: As a prerequisite for loan approval, banks require the company to raise additional capital of $ 20 million. JSC "Dariali Energy" has found the appropriate resource - "Energy" Ltd. is ready to make a contribution to the capital of the company in the amount of 10 million USD and to provide the company with an additional 10 million USD in the form of a shareholder loan, the interest rate is 10% per annum. In return, Energia LLC requests that the company have the option to purchase shares owned by the Georgian Energy Development Fund for $ 15 million after the commissioning of the hydropower plant. "There is no other way for JSC Dariali Energy to raise an additional $ 20 million at this stage." On October 1, 2013, the Government of Georgia granted the request of the Company.

Dariali HPP was put into operation in 2017.

Shlida HPP-1

The directors of Energia Ltd are Davit and Gaioz Ugrelidze. Davit Ugrelidze owns 50% of Hydroenergy LLC registered in 2014. Lasha Iordanishvili owns the same number of shares in the same company. Hydropower Ltd owns Shield HPP 1 with an installed capacity of 1.2 MW. Shilda HPP-1 generated 9.9 million kWh of electricity last year.

Partners of citizen of the Russian Federation and head of a large Russian company, Mevlud Bliadze - of Lasha Iordanishvili, and his companies, as well as Feri Ltd own several more hydropower plants in Georgia.

Kazbegi HPP

Kazbegi HPP Ltd belonged to Kazbegi Municipality until August 2011. This HPP is located a few hundred meters from the Georgian-Russian border, at the Larsi border checkpoint. By the Decree of the President of Georgia N15 / 08/07 of August 15, 2011 and on the basis of the purchase agreement concluded with Kazbegi Municipality on August 16, 2011, Kazbegi HPP Ltd was purchased by Feri Ltd for 200 thousand GEL through direct sale. The capacity of the HPP located on the river Brolistskali (Khdistskali) was 0.38 MW. Less than a year after the acquisition, in April 2012, Feri sold a 100% stake in Kazbegi HPP to Lasha Iordanishvili (66.67%) and Lela Ioseliani (33.33%). According to the purchase agreement, Lela Ioseliani's share fee was to be paid to Ioseb Mchedlishvili, co-owner of Feri Ltd.

In 2013, a new 6 MW HPP was built on the site of Kazbegi HPP. Kazbegi HPP Ltd generated 30.4 million kWh of electricity last year.

Other people, companies, and HPPs related to Bliadze

The director of Kazbegi HPP Ltd is Giorgi Gogava, who is also related to Mevlud Bliadze and the director of partner companies Hydro Energy Ltd and Alazani Energy Ltd.

Lasha Iordanishvili is the 100% owner of Alazani Energy. The company has a permit for the construction of "Khadori 3 HPP" in Kakheti, Pankisi gorge, with a capacity of 5.4 MW. HPP construction work began in 2018, however, residents went against the construction of another HPP in the valley to avoid the expected negative consequences. The company failed to convince people that Khadori 3 HPP was safe, and on April 21, 2019, construction continued, accompanied by riot police and more than 100 police officers, leading to clashes between local residents and law enforcement.

As a result of the use of tear gas, rubber bullets and arson, according to official figures, 55 people were injured, 38 policemen and 17 locals. Police special equipment and vehicles were burnt. The situation calmed down after the arrival of the Minister of Internal Affairs in the gorge. A conflict broke out between a group interested in the construction of the HPP and opponents on November 29, 2019, during which an armed group killed 37-year-old Visuri Mutoshvili in front of up to ten police officers.

Mevlud Bliadze's partner company - Feri Ltd has a permit to build another hydroelectric power plant in the Pankisi Gorge, Samtskuristskali 2 HPP. The capacity of the HPP should be 27 MW. The hydroelectric power plant was supposed to be put into operation in April 2021, however, due to the resistance of the population, this project could not be implemented. The construction documentation has also been appealed by non-governmental organizations in court.

"Feri" Ltd was founded in 1996. As of today, Ioseb Mchedlishvili (96%) owns the largest share of the company and Kakhaber Shevardnadze owns 4%. The general director of the company is Ioseb Mchedlishvili, and the position of director is Merab Iordanishvili. He is the father of Lasha Iordanishvili.

"Feri" Ltd is also the owner of "Khadori 2 HPP" with a capacity of 6 MW installed in Pankisi gorge. The HPP was put into operation in 2012. Last year, Khadori 2 HPP generated 26.5 million kWh of electricity.

"Feri" is the only shareholder of JSC "Wind Power". The name of this company was changed on February 25, 2022. Prior to that, it was called JSC "Oni Cascade" and has a permit to build a cascade of Oni HPPs with a capacity of 206.16 MW in Racha. The general director of the company is Lasha Iordanishvili.

Medium and small HPPs owned by persons with dual citizenship of Russia and Georgia:

Skurdidi HPP - (1.33 MW capacity) - is located in the village of Skurdidi, Khelvachauri district. It was put into operation in 2018. Skurdidi HPP is owned by Pshavi Hydro LLC, registered in 2014. Raul Kurdadze, a dual citizen of Russia and Georgia, owns 87% of the company, while Zviad Gugava, who holds dual citizenship, also owns 13%.

Mashavera HPP - (0.8 MW capacity) - is located in Kvemo Kartli. It has been in operation since 1949. Mashavera HPP is owned by Small LLC, 100% of which is owned by HPP Invest LLC, registered in 2013. Teimuraz Aronia, a dual citizen of Russia and Georgia, owns 80% of the company.

Story 1 HPP - under construction (33.6 MW capacity) - Construction of the HPP near the village of Lechuri in Akhmeta started in 2019. "Stori 1 HPP" is being built by "Stori" Ltd. 95% of the company is owned by Vazha Tsigroshvili, a dual citizen of Russia and Georgia, and 5% by Bezhan Anuashvili. The construction of a cascade of Stori HPPs in the valley is planned.

Dashbashi HPP - (1.3 installed capacity) - is located in Tsalka municipality, in the village of Dashbashi, in the gorge of the river Khrami. Dashbashi HPP was put into operation in 1935 and still operates today. The main reason for its construction was the supply of electricity during the construction phase of the existing "Khramhes I". After the completion of the construction, Dashbashi HPP continued to operate independently and still supplies the generated energy to the Georgian power system. Dashbashi HPP generated 12.6 million kWh of electricity last year. The HPP is owned by Ktsia 94 Ltd, 12% of which is owned by Agnes and Raymond Sakarauli and Arnold Galustov, citizens of the Russian Federation; 21% belongs to Otar Chartolani and 67% to Natia Khvistani. She is the wife of Viktor Japaridze, a member of the Georgian Parliament from the Georgian Dream party.


JSC "Sakrusenergo" United Energy System was established on May 27, 1996. 50% of Sakrusenergo shares are owned by the Georgian state, and 50% by the Russian Federation - "Federal Network System of the Unified Energy System" (PAO "ФСК ЕЭС").

Sakrusenergo owns and operates 500 - 330 and 220 kV power transmission lines connecting Georgia - Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, as well as domestic 500 kV power transmission lines: Imereti, Kartli-1, Kartli- 2 "," Mukhrani "and" Asureti ".

The company aims to ensure uninterrupted transmission of electricity, including transit transmission.

The General Director of the company is Bachana Suladze, a citizen of Georgia, and the Chairman of the Supervisory Board is Alexei Molski, a citizen of the Russian Federation. 4 out of 8 members of the Council are Georgian citizens (Avtandil Tevzadze, Ivane Rostiashvili, Tea Gabadadze, Aleksandre Chivadze), and 4 are from the Russian Federation (Alexei Molski, Madina Kaloeva, Pavel Grebtsov, Dmitry Ustyugov).

As of December 31, 2020, Sakrusenergo's assets amounted to GEL 133,669 million, according to the financial report audited by Audit Company PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd. In 2020, the company had a profit of 11.3 million GEL, and in 2019 - 13.9 million GEL.

Romeo Mikautadze has held senior positions at Sakrusenergo since 2009. Prior to that, he was Deputy General Director of Khrami I and Khrami II, owned by the Russian Inter RAO. In 2013, Mikautadze was transferred to the position of General Director of Sakrusenergo, where he worked until 2017, when he was appointed Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia. He is still the Deputy Minister and is in charge of energy in the country.

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