Abkhazia's Energy Sector: Progress and Challenges Detailed by Minister Nanba

Dzhansukh Nanba, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Transport.

Dzhansukh Nanba, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Transport.

SUKHUM / AQW'A ―  First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Transport, Dzhansukh Nanba, recently addressed key issues and progress in Abkhazia's energy sector during a press conference at the Abkhaz State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company. The Ministry of Energy and Transport, established on 29December 2023, is now managing eight state enterprises, including Abkhazia's energy company Chernomorenergo and the Abkhaz Maritime Shipping Company.

Minister Nanba emphasised the urgent need for structured management and a reduction in technical losses, which are currently about 23%. He highlighted the role of metering devices in enhancing financial discipline, with around 27,000 units installed to serve approximately 90,000 subscribers. Despite these efforts, the payment collection rate from individuals in the first quarter of 2024 was only 14%, signalling deeper issues within the sector.

The tariff set for 2024 aims to cover the operational costs of the power system and includes funds for commercial electricity flow. However, challenges remain, such as the inadequate generation capacity of the IngurHPP complex and the public's need for more responsible electricity consumption. Efforts to mitigate these issues helped reduce power consumption by nearly 300 million kWh by the end of 2023, thanks in part to tariff increases encouraging more careful usage.

Addressing infrastructure concerns, Nanba discussed the state of the "Achguara" high-voltage line. A recent fire in the village of Bedia was traced back to an overloaded line coming into contact with a poorly maintained old pole. The family affected by the fire was compensated with a new home in Sukhum, following a directive from President Aslan Bzhania.

Looking ahead, the minister pointed out the need for a parallel transmission line to cope with increased winter demands and the current inadequacy of existing facilities. Restoration and reconstruction efforts are underway for stepped hydropower plants No:2, No:3, and No:4, which could increase generation significantly. Although it's too early to discuss new large-scale hydropower projects, the development of mini gas-powered generators is being explored.

Nanba also highlighted ongoing efforts to combat energy consumption from cryptocurrency mining, which continues to impose a significant burden on the power supply. More than 3,000 mining devices were seized in 2023, with over 640 additional seizures this year.

In summary, while substantial progress has been made in managing Abkhazia's energy needs, the sector still faces significant challenges that require continued attention and strategic planning to ensure sustainable development and stability.




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