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HISTORY

Water and water resources are the primary ones among the natural riches of Georgia. Hydro-energetic potential of Georgia (rivers, lakes, water reservoirs, ices, underground waters, bogs) is on one of the first places in the world.
According to historical sources, the first propagandist of utilizing electric lightening in Tbilisi was a famous public figure Niko Nikoladze.  The generation of electric power in Georgia started in 1887, when a heating engine was set in the premises of Georgian Drama theatre. The initiator of this enterprise was a famous Georgian writer and public figure Ilya Chavchavadze.

Borjomula gorge, in the suburbs of Borjomi, was the place where the first hydro-electric station of 103 kilowatts was built in 1898. By the end of 1913, there were 7 small hydro-electric stations and many heat engine  electric stations, with a total capacity of 9 megawatts, and an annual production of almost 126 000 kilowatts - hour.
In the twentieth-century lots of new hydro-electric stations were built. In 1927 there was built an Avchala hydro-electric station "Zahes", Abhess in 1928 and Rionhess in 1934. By 1941, the total capacity of Georgian electric stations reached 180 megawatts. In 1945-1960, 11 new hydro-electric stations were put into operation.

The deficit for electric power in Georgia and a growing consumer demand for electric power, prompted Georgian scientists and engineers to elaborate a common project with foreign specialists, and construct a unique hydro-electric station named "Engurhess", which was brought into operation in 1978.

The large-scale processing of coal deposits in Georgia, and again, a high demand for electric power, set the precondition for construction of heating electric stations. In 1938, the first aggregates of Tkvarcheli heating station and the Tbilisi heating electric stations began to work. In 1960, when it was decided to build Tbilisi Sresi, a new phase of power engineering development started in Georgia.

In 1963 the first block of Tbilisi Sresi was put into operation, while in 1972 after the eighth Tbilsresi block started to work, the total capacity reached 1,250,000 kilowatts-hour. Later, there was a further extension of Tbilsresi. In 1990, the ninth block entered into exploitation (300 000 kilowatts), and in 1994 - the tenth block started to operate (300 000 kilowatts).

Along with the electric station, a 110 kilowatt power transmission line was built and named Zahess-Rionhess. Zahess, Rionhess and Abhess work coordination started in 1934, and this laid the foundation for the Georgian power system.

Along with the construction of electric power stations, power transmission line and electric substations, many building projects were realized. Since the sixties, there was an extensive construction of 220 kilowatt substations and their subsequent exploitation.  

In 1973, there was built a 500 kilowatts power transmission line of 187.5 km connecting Kartli, Tbilsresi and Didi Zestaponi. During the next stage, a 500 kilowatt power line "Imereti" was built and put into operation. Important connections were set with the neighboring electric power systems as well.

After Georgia became independent, the process of energy sector rehabilitation was started, and this brought together the formation of electric power system as a separate independent structure. In particular, the generation plants were formed as independent electric power stations. In the wake of  ongoing rehabilitation process a number of energy companies have been established: "Electrodispecherizacia 2000" LLC, "Electrogadacema" JSC, "Sakenergo 2000" LLC,  "Energogeneracia" LEPL,  "Sakenergo" LEPL,  the Union (Association)-" Wholesale Power Market of Georgia", regioanal and municipal power companies.

Since 2000, a new phase of the energy sector rehabilitation started, this time with the participation of a foreign company. In 2002, before the entrance of the foreign company, "Electrodispecherizacia2000" and "Elektrogadatsema" merged, which resulted in the formation of the "Georgian State Electric  System" LLC. In 2001, the management of Wholesale Power Market was transfered to the Spanish company, "Iber Drola" for a period of 5 years. Since 2003, the Irish Company ESB International has been executing the management of the GSE LLC.

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