Compared to the same period last year, electricity consumption in Mestia has almost tripled. Consumption growth was also observed in previous years, but for the last six months, electricity consumption has increased critically.
Mikheil Botsvadze, General Director of JSC ENERGO-PRO Georgia, spoke about this problem when presenting the 2019 annual report of the company to the regional media in Rustavi today.
In December 2019, Mestia region consumed as much electricity as 19 other regions residential customers in total in the same period. Those regions are: Ambrolauri, Aspindza, Oni, Tianeti, Dmanisi, Abasha, Kharagauli, Vani, Chkhorotsku, Tsageri, Lentekhi, Tetritsko Chokhatauri, Baghdati, Keda, Shuakhevi, Tsalka, Khoni.
Such an increased electricity consumption poses a significant threat to the network condition and safety of customers. Considering the fact that many high voltage substations or high voltage lines are fully at 100% or more loaded, there is a danger that they will break down, which will automatically lead to a long term shut down of thousands of customers in Mestia.
Analysis carried out by the company confirms that the reason for the dramatic increase in consumption is the transfer of medium or small crypto-currency farms to Mestia. It is noteworthy that due to the depreciation of the aforementioned currency, electricity supply to the absolute majority of them was suspended in other service centers of the company.
At the same time, despite efforts, the company is not given an opportunity to install balance metering circuits in Mestia region, which would easily ensure control of increased consumption and detection of illegal connection to the network.
Mikheil Botsvadze, Director General of JSC ENERGO-PRO Georgia, declares that the company continues to analyze, monitor and take specific actions to prevent infrastructure damages or emergency suspensions. As for the future steps, of course, the company is working on a comprehensive plan on how to improve the situation, to identify all the abusive customers whose actions are harmful and have seriously damaged Svaneti feeding network, doomed the region to darkness and posed electricity supply of the settlement under the threat.
In a very short period of time we have identified risk, analysed increased consumption and due to the coordinated actions with local law enforcement agencies number of large abductors have already been identified, but there are still many locations where such a problem exists and the ongoing process is critically needed.
We can conclude that we have already come out of the crisis, the region is steadily supplied with electricity, the holiday season is going smoothly, however actions are still needed to stabilize the situation completely. All commercial customers' meters will be settled, as well as balance metering circuits on the transfer points will be installed to make it easier to detect and carry out legal actions towards miners of crypto-currency or commercial organizations which illegally consume electricity.
Reportedly for the last 13 years ENERGO-PRO Group completely with its own financing, supplied electricity to Upper Svaneti population for free. Throughout these years already 588 mln kW/hrs has been supplied which cost amounts approximately to 50 mln GEL. It is worth mentioning that each supplied kW/hrs company purchased from variouse suppliers and all the taxes and fees have been paid.