Utility the Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC) has asked consultants from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to explore the potential costs of generating and transporting green hydrogen for export.
The arrangement, which was signed last week and will see the EBRD provide technical co-operation “over the next few years,” was part of the agreement by the development lender to provide a €217 million loan to refinance a GOGC corporate Eurobond following the Covid-19 crisis.
Under the arrangement, the EBRD will assess the costs of generating hydrogen from Georgia's abundant hydropower resources and transporting it through the nation's existing gas pipe network.
A statement released by the EBRD said hydropower supplies 75-80% of Georgia's electricity.
Aida Sitdikova, director and head of energy in Eurasia at the EBRD’s Sustainable Infrastructure Group, said: “It’s all very early days and still innovative, as it would be for any country. But we feel the Georgian government is receptive and proactive. Georgia was the first country in the EBRD region to request our assistance with [the] development of green hydrogen. We believe that at this level of political buy-in there is a good chance of successfully completing this preparatory work and looking at specific projects sometime down the road.
“Georgia is most relevant in terms of the availability of cheap hydro that is otherwise wasted. And the future-proofing of their infrastructure to be able to accept hydrogen as a blended fuel is something we should be supporting and doing more of.”
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