U.S. Trade and Development Agency

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            FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                      MEDIA INQUIRIES:  Donna Thiessen 

                                                                                                                                                                        (703) 875-4357



 NEW YORK, NEW YORK – (March 2, 2006) Increasing Georgia’s power infrastructure to enhance the nation’s energy security and promote economic growth is the goal of a U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) grant awarded yesterday to the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Georgia.  The $356,000 grant will fund a feasibility study on development of a second high voltage (500Kv) transmission line between the Zestaphoni and Gardabani stations.


The grant was conferred in a signing ceremony held during the opening reception for the Invest in Georgia Forum, an event cosponsored by the Georgian government and the International Finance Corporation.  USTDA Director for Policy and Program Geoffrey Jackson and Georgian Minister of Energy Nika Gilauri signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. and Georgian governments, respectively.  Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli was present at the grant signing.


The transmission line project is a key part of the Ministry of Energy’s plan to enhance Georgia’s energy security in support of the nation’s economic development plans and to develop additional resources for power supply.  Specifically, the addition of a second high voltage line would provide additional infrastructure to provide electricity to other parts of the country and would serve as a backup to the current power infrastructure.  In addition, the second line would have the potential to connect to other countries in the region for export of electricity, especially as new hydropower resources are developed. 


The USTDA grant awarded yesterday will be used to prepare preliminary design and cost estimates, review financing options, and prepare tender documents.  The opportunity to conduct the study for the Ministry of Energy will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities website (  Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions contained in the Federal Business Opportunities announcement.  The Ministry of Energy will select the U.S. contractor that will provide the technical assistance.


The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries.  The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, feasibility studies, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment.  USTDA’s strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development.  In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.