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Bank of Georgia, Germany's KfW ink deal for small hydro development

Bank of Georgia Holdings PLC (BGH) and German development bank KfW have a loan agreement worth US$32 million that will primarily be used for the construction of small hydropower projects.

BGH, which acts as the holding company for JSC Bank of Georgia, says the loan carries a 10-year maturity and fits within the framework of KfW's Renewable Energy Programme.

Co-financing will also come from the Austrian Development Bank.

"We are delighted to launch the program, which is designed to provide long-term loans for investments in renewable energies including small hydropower plants with an installed capacity of up to 20 MW," says Enrico Spiller, KfW director for energy sector coordination in South Caucasus. "Hydropower ensures reliable and inexpensive energy for Georgians while protecting the environment and climate."

BGH did not specify which hydro projects the loan might benefit, although a report released in June 2012 by the bank, titled "Georgia's Hydropower Potential: Giving Water the Green Light," indicates that hydroelectric development within Georgia is a priority for the group.

According to the study, as much as 32 TWh of hydroelectric potential exists in Georgia, making it an easily exportable commodity should it be developed.

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