The only place where Georgians and Abkhaz work together | Interview with Levan Mebonia, Director of the Enguri HPP

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Interview with Levan Mebonia

“After the war, an agreement was made that the Enguri HPP would remain outside of politics and serve only to generate electricity,” tells the Director of the Enguri HPP Levan Mebonia.

The Enguri HPP is the only place where Georgians and Abkhaz cooperate. Levan Mebonia, the director of the largest hydroelectric power station in the region, tells how they achieve this, while in all other areas, it remains an unattainable goal.

Mebonia also talks about the importance of the Enguri HPP for both sides, the energy crisis in Abkhazia, myths around the HPP, and its internal affairs.

“The Enguri HPP is an example that people can communicate with each other if they take each other’s interests into account,” Mebonia says.

Levan Mebonia also talks about the importance of the Enguri HPP for both parties, the energy crisis in Abkhazia, the myths surrounding the HPP, and the internal affairs of the HPP operation. Speaking about the potential of the Enguri HPP, Mebonia notes that there is virtually no other place in Georgia where a larger HPP can be built.

“The Enguri HPP gives us an example that people can communicate with each other when they consider each other’s interests”, claims Mebonia, adding that after the war, there was not a single disagreement in the operation of the Enguri HPP between the Georgian and Abkhaz sides.

Mebonia also notes that according to the verbal agreement signed after the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict, “40% belongs to the Abkhazian side, and 60% to the Georgian side.”

“The Enguri HPP is of immeasurable importance for Georgia, although the Abkhaz need it more, as it is the only source of electricity generation in Abkhazia”, Mebonia emphasizes the importance of the HPP for Sukhumi.

Mebonia also talks about the energy crisis and the increase in consumption in Abkhazia. “Since 2013-14, the consumption of Abkhazia has increased almost twice, which is almost equal to the consumption of Tbilisi”, – notes the director of the Enguri HPP, adding that recently the Abkhaz side realized that “this cannot continue” and positive trends are observed.

In the interview, Mebonia also talks about the myths and wrong information spread around the Enguri HPP. According to him, the issue of the legal affiliation of the Enguri dam is not discussed at all, while both parties could technically halt the operation of the Enguri HPP, but it is not in the interests of any party.

In conclusion, Mebonia says that after many years of working at the Enguri HPP, he believes the trust between the parties will be restored, and “we will get closer again”.

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