Tbilisi: Tbilsresi maintenance missing ingredient

Messenger.ge, Georgia
July 29 2004

Tbilsresi maintenance missing ingredient
By M. Alkhazashvili

To maintain both a stable economy and state, Georgia strives to
overcome its energy problems. To do so, it is essential to have the
important energy producing system Tbilsresi working properly.

During the 1970’s and 80’s Tbilsresi, located in Gardabani in Eastern
Georgia, produced half of the Georgian energy system’s output, and in
autumn and winter 70-75 percent of the country’s entire energy
system. Unfortunately, the 1990’s saw the dramatic decline of the
station, as poor maintenance and over use led to serious damage

It took more than a decade to build Tbilsresi, which was begun in the
early 1960’s and completed in 1972. In 1990, the output of Tbilsresi
station was 1,100 megawatts, and this was increased that year by the
construction of a new unit, number 9, with an output of 300
megawatts. In 1994, unit number 10 was begun, adding a further 400

But due to the lack of repairs on the infrastructure, between 1994-96
units numbers 5, 6 and 7 stopped functioning. Then in 2002, units 1
and 2 were stopped and it was decided to build new ones in their
place, but a lack of finances meant this was never carried out.
Although number 3, 4 and 8 still work and can produce energy, the
lack of repairs on these units means they are now urgently in need of

The more recently built units 9 and 10, which were purchased by the
American AES company and now belong to the Russian RAO UES, have a
mixed record of performance. Unit 10 has not worked since 2001, while
unit 9 has suffered numerous break downs and is currently being
overhauled by RAO UES.

During past year, the limited production of Tbilsresi as led Georgia
to satisfy its requirements through the import of Russian
electricity, although this was hampered last winter by the frequent
break-down of the Kavkasioni 5,000 kilowatt high voltage transmission
line, again because of lack of maintenance.

Although the Georgian State Electrosystem (GSE) halted Russian
imports on June 15th owing to their high cost, it looks like Georgia
will again have to rely on imported energy from Russia. Considering
Russia is also the country’s sole supplier of gas, the new government
has eagerly pushed for energy projects with Iran, Azerbaijan and
Armenia. More importantly, it gives the country ample cause to
rehabilitate its internal electric infrastructure.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress