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Namakhvani HPP dam in Imereti region, Georgia

In 2019, the Georgian government agreed with two foreign private companies to builg a hydroelectric power plant and a dam in the Namakhvani area in the Imereti region. Massive protest led to the project’s abandonment in 2021.


 In August 2011 the Georgian authorities made statements about the plans to launch the construction of a hydroelectric PP (the Namakhvani HPP Cascade) on the Rioni River, in a seismic active region in the areas of the towns of Tskaltubo and Tsageri.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Namakhvani HPP dam in Imereti region, Georgia
State or province:Imereti
Location of conflict:Tskaltubo and Tsageri
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Namakhvani Hydro Power Plant (Georgian: ნამოხვანი) was a planned large hydropower plant, to be built in the Tskaltubo and Tsageri municipalities north of Kutaisi, Imereti region, Georgia.

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Project area:243
Level of Investment for the conflictive project800,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:unknown
Start of the conflict:01/11/2020
End of the conflict:22/09/2021
Company names or state enterprises:Clean Energy Group from Norway
ENKA from Turkey
Relevant government actors:Georgian government; Georgian Renewable Energy Development Association (GREDA); Economy Minister, Natia Turnava; Environmental Protection Minister, Levan Davitashvili
International and Finance InstitutionsGovernment of Georgia from Georgia - Funder
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Save the Rioni Gorge,
Green Alternative CSO,
Nature Conservation Georgia,
CEE Bankwatch Network,
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Youth groups
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Other Environmental impactsPossible activation of seismic fault
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Militarization and increased police presence
Potential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Repression
Violent targeting of activists
Project cancelled
Withdrawal of company/investment
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:Following massive protests, the government abandoned the plant project and the company in charge of it withdrew from the territory.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

[21] Association Green Alternative, Nature Conservation Georgia, CEE Bankwatch Network, "Possible threat to Rioni River from the Namakhvani Hydropower Project (Georgia) ", CONVENTION ON THE CONSERVATION OF EUROPEAN WILDLIFE AND NATURAL HABITATS Standing Committee 42nd meeting Strasbourg, 28 November - 2 December 2022. 17 August 2022
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[22] Lika Jalagania, "The Rioni Valley Protest and the Potential to Transform 'Citizenship' (literature review)", 12 January 2023
[click to view]

[1] "Statement on the Construction of Namakhvani HPP Cascade", Green Alternative, 19 August 2011
[click to view]

[2] Sandro Beraia, "Georgia: Protests Against New Power Plant Continue", IWPR, 18 March 2021
[click to view]

[3] "Economy Minister: Namakhvani HPP will provide Georgia with 12% of its electricity consumption needs",, 23 October 2020
[click to view]

[5] Shota Kincha, "Activists protest dam construction in northwest Georgia", OC-Media, 23 November 2020
[click to view]

[6] "Locals, Police Clash Again over HPP Construction in Imereti",, 23 February 2021
[click to view]

[8] "About Namakhvani HPP", ENKA website, 28 February 2021
[click to view]

[9] "Massive Rally Held in Kutaisi Against Namakhvani HPP",, 28 February 2021
[click to view]

[10] Sandro Beraia, "Georgia: Protests Against New Power Plant Continue", IWPR, 18 March 2021
[click to view]

[11] "EMC: Under the Namakhvani HPP Agreement, significant state interests are conceded in favor of a private company", Social Justice Center, 03 March 2021
[click to view]

[12] "Construction of Namakhvani dam suspended for 12 months",, 10 May 2021
[click to view]

[14] Shota Kincha, "Georgia: Thousands gather at Tbilisi to protest construction of Namakhvani hydropower plant", Open Caucasus Media, 24 May 2021
[click to view]

[15] Soso Meladze, "Georgia, Tbilisi - May 23, 2021: Massive Protest Against Namakhvani HPP Underway in Tbilisi",, 23 May 2021
[click to view]

[16] "Demonstrators protesting construction of Namakhvani HPP to resume rally today",, 25 May 2021
[click to view]

[17] "In Photos: Tbilisi Hosts Massive Protest Against Namakhvani HPP",, 23 May 2021
[click to view]

[18] "Protesters against Namakhvani HPP project leave Tbilisi, continue demonstrations at site",, 26 May 2021
[click to view]

[click to view]

[20] "ENKA: Namakhvani HPP Will No Longer be Built", Georgia Today, 22 September 2021
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[4] Land-Water: A Georgian Documentary to Save the Rioni Valley, 19 November 2020
[click to view]

[7] Untitled video, Social Justice Center, 22 February 2021
[click to view]

[13] 'No to Namakhvani' - why the Rioni 'Guardians' don't want the hydropower plant, 16 May 2021
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Roberto Cantoni - ICTA-UAB, [email protected]
Last update18/08/2023
Conflict ID:6386
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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