The Nenskra hydropower plant is a dam project of 280 MW and considered a the most advanced of Georgia's massive plans for hydropower installations in the Upper Svaneti region. The project is located on the river Nenskra, up stream to the Khudoni dam. On Monday, August 31, 2015, the Partnership Fund of Georgia and South Korea’s K-Water company executed the key project agreements to develop and construct the 280 MW hydropower plant under the BOT scheme (Build-Operate-Transfer). Apart from serving the national demand, the project might also export electricity to Turkey . According to Bankwatch, as has been the practice with other hydropower projects in Georgia, the Nenskra implementation agreement signed in August 2015 is confidential, so many details about land appropriation and tariffs are unknown.
The Nenskra Hydropower Project has a total investment value of $1 billion and is the largest foreign investment in the country since Georgia gained independence from the Soviet Union.  The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has agreed in May 2015 to provide US$200 million for the project. Nenskra is also being financed by the Asian Development Bank and Export-Import Bank of Korea. The tender for the construction of the plant worth $575 millions was won by Italian industrial group Salini Impregilo. The construction started in mid 2015. The project is planned for completion by 2019, but receive high protests from local inhabitants that claim potential negative impacts have not been properly assessed.
In the last decade, Georgia has rushed to exploit its hydropower resources to become a regional energy player. At the moment 35 hydropower plants are slated for development only in the Upper Svaneti region of Georgia. All of them are located in the Enguri river basin. Most of the plants (25) are located on the territory of the planned Upper Svaneti national park and the Upper Svaneti protected landscape. According to Bankwatch, "the rush to build hydropower plants in Georgia is not backed by any energy strategy and without regard for the combined environmental consequences and socio-economic impacts."  The combination of weak environmental legislation and the lack of strategic plans has enabled the Georgian government to rush forward concessions on 64 plants since the adoption of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement in June 2014. But weak laws and lack of strategy have made the sector a breeding ground for environmental damage, social problems and political cronyism. The Upper Svaneti region in north-western Georgia provides a microcosm of these broader trends. Plans for development of 35 new plants are under way in an area roughly the size of Mallorca that is largely covered by a planned national park, hosts UNESCO listed medieval monuments and is inhabited by the traditional community of Svans. The EBRD has been one of the key catalysts of this hydro boom. Yet the presence of the EBRD and other international financial institutions has not been enough to ensure the development of comprehensive energy strategies, robust project assessments and meaningful public consultations. The potential for social and environmental problems is therefore prevalent. The Nenskra hydropower plant is yet another project that lacks the proper assessment and has failed to gain acceptance from the local communities. The impact of such intensive hydropower plant constructions on the rivers and biodiversity in Upper Svaneti has not been assessed. Activists opposing the project argue that if built, the dam on the Nenskra river will deprive people of lands and forests that are vital to their livelihood and cause geological hazards which have not been taken into account in the official social and environmental impact assessment. Locals from Chuberi, Khaishi, Nakra, Khevi and other villages that will be affected by the massive construction plans were joined last July 2016 by activists from the Tbilisi-based environmental groups Green Fist and Young Greens. According to an article in Democracy and Freedom Watch Georgia , "They demand that the construction project is halted until alternative projects and the consequences have been properly assessed in close cooperation with the local community. A petition was signed, addressed to the main stakeholders in the project and advocacy groups, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the prime minister and public defender of Georgia, and local and international NGOs. The activists gave investors, including the construction company Salini Impregilo, one week to meet their demands, otherwise they will resume their blockade of the road leading to the construction site." The article also reports the words by Father Giorgi Chartolani, a priest from Mestia who is an outspoken advocate for preserving the Svan language and culture: “The destruction of our language, culture, and traditions, which bear the identity of this region and the whole country will be a big blow to the spirituality of the Georgian nation. People involved in the construction project never stood up for Georgia. They are driven by profit and their vision of success,”  Due to the high level of contrariety to the dam project, a congress of community leaders was held in the village Khaishi on June 12, resurrecting an age old Svan tradition. The congress, called liqwbääl in the Svan language, brought together several dozen informal leaders from all seventeen communities in Upper Svaneti: Adishi, Becho, Chuberi, Etseri, Ipari, Kala, Khaishi, Latali, Lakhamula, Lenjeri, Mestia, Mulakhi, Nakra, Pari, Tskhumari, Tsvirmi, and Ushguli. The closed congress ruled that Svans are an indigenous people with its own language, traditions and culture and that it is necessary to restore the ancient tradition of holding a pan-Svan congress called lalkhor in order to have more of a say in large-scale infrastructure projects which are planned in the region. The congress also condemned the fact that allegedly a number of pro-dam activists were being paid salaries by Salini Impregilo. An outsider observer at the congress told Democracy and Freedom Watch that “The company started to hire people, whose duties aren’t clear. They hire two or three people from each village and pay them one thousand lari a month — a high salary for local standards. When we asked these people about their positions, they said that they were doing nothing and had no responsibilities except occasional small tasks like changing light bulbs. It was clear, though, that the company was using these people to show the outside world that only a small group of people in Chuberi is against the construction, while the majority is for”