Follow Us


Government Provided the Persons Connected with Russia with the Permit to Build HPP in Kvemo Svaneti

Thursday, 23 February 2023 10:54 hits 569 times

Georgian government gave permission to individuals closely related to Russia, in particular to the Russian company Inter Rao, on the construction of the 22.74 MW hydroelectric power station Tskhenistskali 1 HPP in Kvemo Svaneti, Lentekhi municipality. The order was issued on the 10th of February. According to the project, it’s planned to build a new road from Zeskho and Tskhenistskali rivers conjunction in with the direction of the Russian-Georgian border with almost 8 kilometers in length and 9 meters in width.

According to the environmental impact assessment report, Tskhenistskali 1 HPP will generate approximately 96.2 GWh of electricity during the year. In order to supply water from the main structure to the HPP building, the Tskhenistskali river will be diverted to a pressure pipeline of 7.7 kilometers. The diameter of the pipeline is more than 2 meters. The cost of the project is 21 million USD.

National Environment Agency head, Tamar Pitskhelauri, in her order, by which she gave a positive environmental decision on the construction of a hydroelectric power plant in the border region to people closely connected with Russia, justifies the cutting of a new, 8-kilometer road as follows: “It is impossible to travel by road in the valley of the Tskhenistskali river to the HPP structure. The only possible way is by footpaths, therefore the construction of a new road, which follows planned derivation and pressure pipeline corridor, will be done mainly by bulldozers and excavators.”

In the decision, it is indicated that on October 4 of 2022 in the building of the administrative unit of the Lentekhi municipality village Chikhareshi, a public review of the environmental impact assessment report of Tskhenistskali 1 HPP was held.

Hydro Invest GA LLC is going to build Tskhenistskali 1 HPP. The company was registered on March 25, 2021. The owner of 50% of the enterprise share is company Hydro Invest LLC founded two days before this company, and the remaining 50% belongs to the citizen of Armenia, Karen Harutyunyan.

Zurab Gelenidze, a citizen of Georgia, owns 85% of the shares in Hydro Invest LLC. Zurab Gelenidze is a Georgian member of the Supervisory Board of Telasi. He is the Deputy Director of the Board. 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. The main shareholder of Inter RAO is the Russian company Rosneftegaz (27.63%). 8.57% of the shares belong to the Federal Energy System Network (ФСК ЕЕС), 80% of which is owned by the Russian company Rosset. On the other hand, for its part, Rosneftegaz is the owner of the controlling stake in Rosset. The share of Inter RAO Capital is 29.56%, and 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, and 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.

Karen Harutunian, the general manager of Electric Networks of Armenia, also owns a 50% stake in Hydro Invest GA, he is the general director of Armenia Electric Networks. 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. 70% of Electric Networks in Armenia are owned by Tashir Capital; Liormand Holdings Limited, established in 2010 in Cyprus, owns 30%.

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.

Hydro Invest GA LLC is requesting an environmental decision from the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture on the construction of another HPP in Lentekhi municipality. In order to build a 20.3 MW hydroelectric power station (Zeskho - 1 HPP) on Zeskho and Koruldashi rivers, 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. The scoping document has already been issued.

Mountain Stories is an independent online news publication. The website is managed by the Information Centers Network.