Georgia plans new power line for export to Turkey

TBILISI – Georgia plans to build a high voltage electricity line to Turkey that will increase its exporting capacity tenfold, according to Sulkhan Zumburidze, director of the state power dispatcher Georgian State Electrosystem.

Zumburidze told Reuters on Thursday that the project will cost 220 million euros to complete, and will be financed by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank, and Germany state bank KfW.

Construction is set to begin in September 2009 and will be finished within three years.

The 300 kilometre line will cross the territory of Georgia and link up with the Turkish electricity network.

The neighbouring countries are already connected with a 200 kilovolt line, the new line will have a capacity of 400 kilovolts, Zumburidze said.

Georgia, which has numerous rivers that can be tapped for hydro-electricity, is trying to attract foreign investors to build new hydro-power stations so it can sell more electricity to Turkey.

Georgia’s northern neighbour — Russia — also wants to use Georgia’s electricity network to export its own power to Turkey.

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