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4 Jun 2021

Shota Kincha, Open Caucasus Media

Georgia: Thousands gather at Tbilisi to protest construction of Namakhvani hydropower plant

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Anti-Namakhvani leaders vow to paralyse Tbilisi, 24 May 2021

Protesters moved to Tbilisi over the weekend after 208 days of continuous protests near the site of the planned dam...[T]he protests are being spearheaded by the Rioni Valley Defenders, a grassroots movement opposed to the dam.

Critics of the $800 million Namakhvani project, which is being built by Turkish construction firm Enka Renewables, argue that the risks and impact have not been properly studied, and that the dams will affect the environmental, social, and cultural setting in Georgia’s Imereti and Lechkhumi regions.

The Namakhvani HPP project would include two dams with a planned combined capacity of 433 MW ...over 12% of the country’s electricity consumption. In response to the backlash against the project, on 24 April the government announced a ‘9-12 months moratorium’ on the construction of the Namakhvani project