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Georgia Seeks Wind Investor, Completing Gasification Program

Georgia is seeking foreign investors for a 50-megawatt wind-power plant valued at $100 million, Deputy Energy Minister Mariam Valishvili said.

The plant, located in the west of the ex-Soviet satellite state, is due for completion by 2015, Valishvili said in an interview in the Georgian capital Tbilisi on Thursday. "Georgia is trying to diversify its energy sources," she said.

No potential investors have been confirmed yet, Valishvili said. Georgia wants to raise $5 billion to develop the hydropower industry over the next seven years, President Mikheil Saakashvili said in November.

Meanwhile, Energy Minister Alexander Khetaguri said Wednesday that the country will complete its program of linking citizens to the domestic gas network by 2014.

Khetaguri said 675,000 subscribers had already been connected and another 320,000 remained. 80,000 subscribers can be connected annually, he added.

Under the country's program of "gasification," 72 percent of the population will have to be provided with access to natural gas. The remaining 28 percent live in regions too inaccessible — and thus unprofitable — to connect to the gas network.

The level of access to piped gas amongst the Russian population is currently about 70 percent. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said in October that 90 percent of the country will have been brought online by 2030.

(MT, Bloomberg)

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