Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia to join power lines
After long talks and a series of consultations, including meetings at the top level, energy authorities of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia reached an agreement on establishing a united electric power system. The energy circle ‘Russia-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Russia’ will begin its operation in the nearest future. It will be of the most important factors of power engineering stability and security in the South Caucasus. The agreement is especially important for Georgia which began to cope with consequences of the electric power collapse of the 1990s not long ago. In the 1990s population of cities was provided with electricity power only for 6-8 hours a day, while regions were benighted especially in winter.
At recent talks in Baku, the sides dealt with the issue of hourly cross flows and flow deviations of ‘Russia-Georgia’ and ‘Russia-Azerbaijan.’ It seems to be a purely technical issue, but in fact reaching an agreement on the issue gives a green light to a critical change and development of cooperation between the three countries in the power engineering sphere, providing stable functioning of the whole triune system. Moreover, energy cross flow will take place regularly or under circumstances of insuperable force without extra regulations and complicated procedures.
Representatives of major operating companies of the three countries took part in the Baku talks – Rosset, Inter RAO, The Georgian State Power System, The Commercial Operator of Electric Power System, and Azerenergy. The companies agreed to develop mechanisms and approaches to a regulation of hourly cross flows and flow deviations of ‘Russia-Georgia’, ‘Russia-Azerbaijan’, and ‘Georgia-Azerbaijan’ which are elements of the united electric power system. It enables them to make a concerted decision on advantages and conditions of closure of the circle for a long-term prospect.
As for a political side of the issue, the election campaign is gaining momentum in Georgia ahead of the parliamentary elections on October 8th. The Vice Premier, the Minister of Energy, Kakha Kaladze, is thought to be one of leaders of the ruling party Georgian Dream and the main coordinator of the campaign.
The opposition involving supporters of the former president Saakashvili tries to criticize the authorities for their pro-Russian position all the time. However, the government ventured upon a radical step, remembering that coping with the difficult problem of electric power supply became possible in the early 2000s only after building cooperation with RAO Unified Energy System of Russia, while cooperation with Azerbaijan in the energy sphere (including an import of natural gas for TEPS) gained a strategic character.