Statement of Adjaristsqali Georgia LLC
We have read the feedback on social media on the speech of Norwegian Ambassador in Georgia Helene Sand Andersen at the conference held in regard to the Namakhvani HPP project. The said feedback contains false facts, opinions, and plainly false information which puts Shuakhevi HPP, which is one of the most important investments made in the history of independent Georgia in the energy field, completely in a speculative perspective. It has been more than a year since Shuakhevi HPP started making its important contribution in the process of strengthening the country’s energy independence and cutting down dependence on imported electricity. Since the beginning of 2020, Shuakhevi HPP has been operating without any technical challenges, and the amount of electricity generated throughout the year has already crossed 300 GWh.
It is a pity that the problem related to the power plant tunnel has been circulated by various spokespersons with speculations and for years they have been presenting Shuakhevi HPP as failed and an unreasonable project which, to put it mildly, is a lie. Shuakhevi HPP tunnel was damaged in August of 2017, however, no harm was done to the environment or human health as a result of the damage as every safety standard was maximally taken into consideration. After the test launch, the collapse of the tunnel sections did not cause any complications except for the damage to the tunnel itself, which has been rehabilitated through all proper works after being studied thoroughly. In this process, the company endured significant financial loss, but with a high sense of responsibility, through studying specific reasons and making respective decisions, tunnel rehabilitation work was completed with the involvement of leading world and local engineers, as a result of which, the power plant successfully continued operation.
Information that Shuakhevi HPP tunnel collapsed several times is not accurate, the incident happened only once. It’s also false to claim that “all hydro resources are directed” to HPP tunnel leaving many villages without water. It is not appropriate to claim that “tens of houses were flooded and rotten” after the tunnel collapse.
Implementation of the project did not result in physical resettlement of local residents, the only intervention occurred in economic profile implying acquisition of some of the agricultural land parcels or temporarily limited access to parcels because of the project needs. For project-affected residents, Adjaristsqali Georgia LLC commenced livelihood restoration projects. After a number of meetings and consultations with locals, agricultural activities were selected as a feasible alternative that could provide sustainable livelihood options for the affected people. These included
beekeeping, cattle breeding, and development of hazelnut farms which were implemented successfully with the involvement of local partner organizations.
As for the issue of drinking water, Adjaristsqali Georgia LLC has been conducting monitoring on drinking water in the project area since 2014. As analysis of the monitoring results demonstrates, the debit of springs varies (on autumn and spring). Restoration of water debit is reported during rainfall. Respectively, no correlation is reported between the work of the company and the decrease in water debit. Despite this, the company supported many residents to provide them with alternative water.
Adjaristsqali Georgia LLC has been supporting local residents since the very first day of Shuakhevi HPP project, hundreds of social projects were implemented under the social responsibility total value of which exceeded 8 million GEL. Social projects continue in the operation phase as well. Our goal is to be reliable neighbors for locals for future decades and do everything in our power for the long-term development of the region.