TBILISI, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Georgia plans to build its first underground natural gas storage facility and construct a coal-fired power plant as part of moves to develop its energy sector.
Georgia’s state Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC) has obtained the right to build the gas storage facility on a capped oil field in the capital Tbilisi and has finished the feasibility study, GOGC’s general director told Reuters.
“Several companies have expressed their interest to participate in the tender for the construction,” David Tvalabeishvili said.
“We expect that the winner will be named by May 2018.”
He said that once construction had been completed around the turn of 2021-2022, it would be possible to store 250-280 million cubic meters of natural gas, or about 15 percent of the country’s current total annual consumption.
The project is estimated to cost $250-$300 million.
“We are holding talks with international financial institutions in order to get credits for the construction,” Tvalabeishvili said.
Separately, Georgia has signed a deal with Dongfang Electric Corporation to help build a 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant in the ex-Soviet country, the Chinese company said on Wednesday.
Dongfang signed an agreement with Georgian company Cpower. The project is estimated to cost $250 million, with construction expected to start in 2018 and to be completed in 2020.
The plant, which will be built in south Georgia, will help the country meet peak winter power demand and export electricity to Turkey in summer. (Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Mark Potter)