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Who undermines Georgian transit?2009-10-23 23:10
Azerbaijani oil train explosion in Georgia challenges security of transit via Georgia. During the governmental hour in parliament Energy Minister Alexander Khetaguri had to assure that all gas pipelines, power lines and other strategic energy facilities are soundly protected. Is that really so?
It was Nika Laliashvili, a deputy, who asked the minister a question on security of strategic energy facilities. The reason to think about it was a train explosion on Senaki-Poti stretch and a recent subversion on a power line in Tsagvili village in Eastern Georgia.
Minister Alexander Khetaguri assured the security of the main gas pipeline going through the territory of Georgia is guaranteed. According to him the pipe junctions are regularly guarded and checked up.
He also informed about diversified natural gas sources stating that in case of an accident on one direction of gas supplies the second direction would be engaged so urgently that customers would not feel discomfort.
Laliashvili was particularly interested in Kavkasioni power line that was once exploded in 2006. Khetaguri replied there was no reason to worry. "In case Kavkasioni is damaged through artificial intervention this will be the fault of the aggressing state. Over the last three years Russia has been providing power to its Southern regions via this line and if they cut themselves off electric power, let it be so", - Khetaguri remarked.
According to Giya Khukhashvili, a Georgian expert, all high voltage power lines are controlled by Rusenergo company (Russia). That is why there was no need in explosions to prove Russia's dominance over Georgia - cutting the right switch was enough. Apparently in future Georgia will be free from this dependence.
Foreign (non-Russian) investors allocate funds to new hydro-electric stations that not only will provide Georgia with energy but will make exports of electric power possible to neighboring countries.
As Khetaguri reported to the deputies Bakhva hydroelectric plant construction began in July, on November 6 construction of Mktvar hydroelectric plant in Akhaltsikhi district will begin, and on December 28 - of Paravani station. Part of USD 4.5 bn donor aid will be spent on a power line to Turkey. The cost is estimated at USD 280 mln with the project to be completed in May 2012.