An agreement has been reached with the construction company of the Namakhvani HPP, based on which the construction of the dam will be suspended for 9-12 months, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili announced.
“We have reached an agreement with the company on several points, among them that the dam construction works will be suspended for 9-12 months. Once again, everything will be checked well, with the participation of foreign and local experts. The impact on the environment will also be re-examined, whether it is harmful or not. A 5-million fund will be created for the development of the Rioni Valley at this stage. At the same time, I would like to explain to the population that this company has already spent 30 million in compensation, so far,” Garibashvili said.
On March 14, a rally was held in Kutaisi, the capital of the western Imereti region, against Namakhvani HPP. The locals demanded the suspension of the construction of the HPP in order to protect the environment.
At the same time, the resignation of the Minister of Economy Natia Turnava was added to the demands of the rally. The protesters noted that the new demand was caused by Turnava leaving the meeting on March 12 on the issue of Namakhvani HPP.
The Namakhvani HPP is being built in the Tskaltubo and Tsageri municipalities north of Kutaisi by a Turkish construction firm, Enka Renewables. Despite the strong local resistance, the construction works were still underway to date. The criticism surrounding the ongoing project is actively supported by green activist groups.