By Shakeh Avoyan
Georgia has resumed imports of electricity from Armenia to make up for renewed energy shortages caused by an explosion at one of its largest power plants late last month.
AES Telasi, a US company that owns the power grid of the capital Tbilisi, has been receiving 120 Megawatts of electricity a day from Armenia since December 29 in accordance with an agreement signed with Armrosgazprom, a spokeswoman for the Russian-Armenian joint venture announced on Monday.
The official, Shushan Sardarian, told RFE/RL that the deal will be valid until January 20 but can be renewed by the two sides. “Whether or not the agreement will be extended depends on the Georgian side,” she said.
Armrosgazprom, which is controlled by Russia’s Gazprom monopoly and runs Armenia’s gas distribution network, is understood to be reselling energy provided by the Hayenergo national power grid. It is the first time that the gas company engages in electricity exports, something which was until recently done exclusively by Hayenergo.
Officials at both Armrosgazprom and Hayenergo refused to specify reasons for the unusual arrangement. But some analysts say Hayenergo allowed the Russian-controlled firm to export energy in payment for its debts for supplied gas.
Georgia still owes Armenia more than $4 million for earlier power supplies.