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Georgia Woos Tata for $600 Million Hydroelectric Power Plant

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Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) --India’s Tata Group may invest in a hydroelectric power project in Georgia after meetings with the Black Sea country’s billionaire Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, including in Davos, Switzerland.

“Tata expressed its interest and wish to invest here after a meeting with the prime minister in Davos and a prior visit to Georgia,” Mariam Valishvili, Georgia’s deputy energy and natural resources minister, said today by phone in Tbilisi.

Tata management also met Ivanishvili this week to explore the hydropower project and possible opportunities in Georgia, the company said in an e-mailed response to questions.

The International Finance Corp. and Oslo-based Clean Energy Invest agreed in 2011 to help build the Adjaristskali plant, planned for the mountainous region of Adjara, Valishvili said. The project will probably cost more than $600 million and have a capacity as much as 400 megawatts, she said.

Prior to Ivanishvili’s win in October elections, the previous government of President Mikheil Saakashvili had signed 42 preliminary deals for hydropower projects. Companies that agreed to join power-plant projects include Turkey’s Kolin Construction, a joint venture between Ohio-based Robbins Co. and Georgian construction firm Peri Ltd., Tourism Industry and Trading Co. Inc. and Russia’s OAO Inter RAO UES.

To contact the reporter on this story: Helena Bedwell in Tbilisi at hbedwell@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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