Enguri Dam

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Enguri Dam
Enguri Dam is located in Georgia
Enguri Dam
Location of Enguri Dam in Georgia
Enguri Dam is located in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti
Enguri Dam
Enguri Dam (Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti)
Coordinates42°45′33″N 42°01′55″E / 42.75917°N 42.03194°E / 42.75917; 42.03194Coordinates: 42°45′33″N 42°01′55″E / 42.75917°N 42.03194°E / 42.75917; 42.03194
Construction began1961
Opening date1978
Owner(s)Engurhesi Ltd. (Georgian Government)
Dam and spillways
Type of damArch dam
ImpoundsEnguri River
Height271.5 m (891 ft)
Power Station
Operator(s)Ltd. Engurhesi
Turbines5 × 260 MW
Installed capacity1,300 MW
Annual generation4.3 TWh

The Enguri Dam is a hydroelectric dam on the Enguri River in Georgia. Currently it is the world's second highest concrete arch dam with a height of 271.5 metres (891 ft).[1][2][3] It is located north of the town Jvari. It is part of the Enguri hydroelectric power station (HES) which is partially located in Abkhazia.


Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev initially proposed a major dam and hydroelectric power scheme on the Bzyb River as his favourite resort was located near the mouth of the river at Pitsunda. However, his experts informed him that a dam built on the Bzyb River would have had catastrophic effects in causing beach erosion at Pitsunda, so in the end the dam was built on the Enguri River instead, where the impact upon the coastline was assessed to be considerably less pronounced.[4]

Construction of the Enguri dam began in 1961. The dam became temporarily operational in 1978, and was completed in 1987. In 1994, the dam was inspected by engineers of Hydro-Québec, who found that the dam was "in a rare state of dilapidation".[5] In 1999, the European Commission granted €9.4 million to Georgia for urgent repairs at the Enguri HES, including replacing the stoplog at the arch dam on the Georgian side and, refurbishing one of the five generators of the power station at the Abkhaz side.[6] In total, €116 million loans were granted by the EBRD, the European Union, the Japanese Government, KfW and Government of Georgia.[1] In 2011 the European Investment Bank (EIB) loaned €20 million in order to complete the rehabilitation of the Enguri hydropower plant and to ensure safe water evacuation towards the Black Sea at the Vardnili hydropower cascade.[7]

In the early 1980's, a series of radio relays were built to connect the Enguri Dam with the Hudoni Dam, which was under construction. The relays were in remote territory with no access to electricity, and thus were powered with a series of eight radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). However, the Hudoni dam's construction was stopped as Georgian independence from the Soviet Union drew near. The stations and their RTGs were abandoned and eventually dismantled. The RTG's became lost at this time. Two were rediscovered in 1998, leading to no injuries. Two more were found in 1999, and again led to no injuries or significant radiation exposure. Two more were rediscovered in 2001, which led to the Lia radiological accident. The other two sources remain unaccounted for.[8]

Technical features[edit]

Distribution of the Enguri HES facilities in Abkhazia and Georgia proper.

The Enguri hydroelectric power station (HES) is a cascade of hydroelectric facilities including, in addition to the dam - diversion installation of the Enguri HES proper, the near-dam installation of the Perepad HES-1 and three similar channel installations of the Perepad HESs-2, -3, and -4 located on the tailrace emptying into the Black Sea.[9] While the arch dam is located on the Georgian controlled territory in Upper Svanetia, the power station is located in the Gali District of region Abkhazia of Georgia.[6] Enguri HES has 20 turbines with a nominal capacity of 66 MW each,[10] resulting in a total capacity of 1,320 MW. Its average annual capacity is 3.8 TWh, which is approximately 46% of the total electricity supply in Georgia as of 2007.[11] According to the 1992 agreement Georgia gets 60% of the energy generated by the power station and Abkhazia gets the remaining 40%, however in the late 2010s the Abkhazian consumption increased significantly driven in part by bitcoin mining.[12][13]

The facility's arched dam, located at the town of Jvari, was inscribed in the list of cultural heritage of Georgia in 2015.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Enguri Hydro power Plant Rehabilitation project. Project summary document". European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. 2006-09-08. Archived from the original on 2008-05-27. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
  2. ^ "Inguri Dam". Britannica. Retrieved 2007-01-01.
  3. ^ "China's Xiaowan hydroelectric power station succeeds". Xinhua. 2008-10-28. Archived from the original on 2008-06-19. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
  4. ^ Blatter, Joachim; Ingram, Helen M. (2001). Reflections on water: new approaches to transboundary conflicts and cooperation. MIT Press. pp. 221–2. ISBN 0-262-02487-X.
  5. ^ Manana Kochladze; Rezo Getiashvili (2007). "The Khudoni dam: a necessary solution to the Georgian energy crisis?" (PDF). CEE Bankwatch Network. Retrieved 2008-11-08. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ a b "Brief overview of EC Rehabilitation projects of the Enguri Hydro-Power Plant – Georgia". European Commission Delegation to Georgia and Armenia. 2006-10-20. Archived from the original (DOC) on 2007-07-12. Retrieved 2008-11-08. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Hydropower in Georgia receives boost from EIB (ENPI Info Centre) Archived 2011-10-09 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ The radiological accident in Lia, Georgia. Vienna: International Atomic Energy Agency. 2014. ISBN 92-0-103614-0. OCLC 900016880.
  9. ^ Georgia 2008 Daily Chronology, globalsecurity.org
  10. ^ Enguri Hydro Power Plant Archived 2012-02-29 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2008-09-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Ministry of Energy of Georgia
  12. ^ Чарквиани, Нестан. "Тбилиси закупает электроэнергию для покрытия дефицита в Абхазии" (in Russian). Voice of America. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  14. ^ "Enguri HPP's arched dam granted cultural heritage status". Agenda.ge. 20 August 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2016.