Georgia's Tourism Sector - Tourism Market Watch | March 2017
5 Apr, 2017
The number of international arrivals was up 13.1% y/y to 0.51mn in March 2017. Out of the top five source markets, there was strong growth from Armenia (+11.2% y/y), Azerbaijan (+11.1% y/y), Russia (+16.3% y/y), and Ukraine (+16.5% y/y). The number of arrivals from Turkey was down (-17.3% y/y), largely due to the maintenance works at the Sarpi customs clearance, which have led to long delays in crossing the border. Arrivals from the EU were up 9.5% y/y to over 15,000 visitors
The number of international arrivals was up 11.4% y/y to 1.27mn visitors in 1Q17. The number of visitors increased from all major countries except for Turkey (-14.0% y/y). Armenia (+15.2% y/y) and Russia (+28.1% y/y) were the largest contributors to overall growth, with Ukraine also posting double-digit growth (+17.3% y/y). The number of visitors from Azerbaijan posted a modest increase of 4.2% y/y from the high base of 1Q16 (+24.6% y/y).
While the top four source markets accounted for 83.2% of international arrivals in 1Q17, secondary source markets also posted robust performances. The number of Indian visitors was up 2.5x to almost 12,000, while the number of Israeli visitors increased 80.4% y/y to over 8,000 visitors. Arrivals from the EU were up 16.2% y/y in 1Q17 to almost 39,000 visitors, with Germany (+27.5% y/y), Poland (+33.8% y/y), and United Kingdom (+16.3% y/y) driving the growth.
The tourist category continues to drive arrival growth in March 2017. The number of overnight visitors (‘tourist’ category) was up 28.6% y/y and accounted for 43.0% of total international arrivals. Same-day arrivals were down 0.6% y/y, while the number of transit visitors was up 14.3% y/y in March 2017. The number of tourist arrivals is up 25.7% y/y to 0.51mn in 1Q17, compared to 0.41mn in 1Q16. The number of same-day visitors is down 1.6% y/y, while the number of transit visitors is up 17.5% y/y in 1Q17.
Georgia's Energy Sector - Electricity Market Watch | February 2017
27 Mar, 2017
The Georgian government has decided to sell the newly commissioned wind power plant to private investors. The wind farm is currently owned by “Qartli Wind Farm” Ltd, whose shareholders are state-owned companies Georgian Energy Development Fund (GEDF) and Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC). Shares of the Qartli wind farm will be sold via public auction, after an evaluation by an independent audit company. The terms of the auction will be announced after the final audit report is issued. The WPP has supplied on average 0.5% of monthly electricity demand since it commenced operations in November 2016.
EU4ENERGY regional office was opened in Tbilisi on March 10, 2017. EU4Energy is a four-year European Union technical assistance project launched in June 2016. The overall objective of the 3rd component of EU4ENERGY, with a budget of EUR 6.8mn, is to improve the beneficiary countries' legislative and regulatory environment in the energy sector, in line with their EU obligations and best practices.
Domestic consumption increased 13.0% y/y in February 2017, with the Abkhazian region and eligible consumers driving the growth. Consumption of distribution companies increased 9.1% y/y: consumption was up 8.3% y/y by Telasi, 4.9% y/y by Kakheti Energy Distribution, and 10.0% y/y by Energo- Pro. Consumption of the Abkhazian region was up 19.9% y/y and accounted for 23.1% of domestic consumption. Consumption by eligible consumers was up significantly (+24.8% y/y).
Growth in domestic consumption was met mostly through imported electricity. Total electricity supply from domestic sources was flat (-0.5% y/y), while imports more than doubled (+106.2% y/y) and TPP increased by 62.2% y/y in February 2017. Only one third (34.2%) of domestic consumption needs was met by hydro generation. The main reasons for the change in the electricity supply mix were bad hydrological conditions affecting most HPPs and Enguri HPP’s 10-day closure. The HPP halted operations to allow experts interested in the Enguri tunnel rehabilitation consultancy tender to walk through the tunnel and evaluate the scope of work. Guaranteed capacity fee was down 23.1% y/y to USc 0.66/kWh, with guaranteed capacity provided by each of the five sources for most of the month. Almost half of the imported electricity came from Azerbaijan (47.3%), with the rest imported from Russia (42.6%) and Armenia (10.2%).
Wholesale market prices in Georgia decreased 7.0% y/y to USc 5.1/kWh, 5.7% above the Turkish market clearing price in February 2017. The average price of imported electricity in Georgia decreased 22.6% y/y, notably from the very low base in February 2016 (-31.7% y/y). The main reason for such a meaningful decrease was the subsidized price of imported electricity from Russia (via the Salkhino line), which was mainly directed to the Abkhazian region to meet its continuously increasing demand.
Georgia's Tourism Sector - Tourism Market Watch | February 2017
7 Mar, 2017
The number of international arrivals was up 2.1% y/y to 0.37mn in February 2017. Out of the top five source markets, there was growth from Armenia (+7.7% y/y), Russia (+31.4% y/y), and Ukraine (+10.6% y/y), while arrivals were down from Azerbaijan (-6.6% y/y) and Turkey (-21.0% y/y).
The number of international arrivals was up 10.5% y/y to 0.76mn visitors in 2M17. The number of visitors increased from all major countries except for Turkey (-11.6% y/y) in 2M17, while the number of visitors from Azerbaijan was flat (+0.1% y/y). Russia and Ukraine posted double-digit growth rates, while Armenia (+18.2% y/y) was the single largest contributor to overall growth.
While the top four source markets accounted for 86.1% of international arrivals in 2M17, secondary source markets also posted robust performances. The number of Iranian visitors is up almost 5.4x to over 15,000, while the number of Israeli visitors during the same period is up 65.0% y/y to over 3,000 visitors. Arrivals from the EU were up 21.9% y/y in 2M17 with Germany (+35.4% y/y), Poland (+30.2% y/y), and UK (+26.2% y/y) driving the growth.
The tourist category continues to drive arrival growth in February 2017. The number of overnight visitors (‘tourist’ category) was up 16.4% y/y and accounted for 38.0% of total international arrivals. Same-day arrivals were down 9.1% y/y, while the number of transit visitors was up 7.6% y/y in February 2017.
Georgia's Energy Sector - Electricity Market Watch | January 2017
2 Mar, 2017
Domestic consumption increased 7.2% y/y in January 2017, with Telasi (+10.5% y/y) and eligible consumers (+17.9% y/y) driving the growth. DSO consumption increased 5.8% y/y: consumption was up 2.7% y/y by Energo-Pro, 7.7% y/y by Kakheti Energy Distribution, and 10.5% y/y by Telasi, which has posted 20%+ annual growth rates for the past five months. Consumption of the Abkhazian region was up 6.9% y/y and accounted for 94.8% of the electricity generated by Enguri and Vardnili. Consumption by eligible consumers was up significantly (+17.9% y/y), albeit from a low base in January 2016 (-24.7% y/y). The largest eligible consumer, Georgian Manganese (78.5% of direct consumption), posted 24.9% y/y growth, also from last year’s low base (-28.3% y/y), and contributed quite significantly to energy demand growth in January 2017 (1.7 percentage points). Electricity exports were negligible, while electricity transit from Azerbaijan to Turkey amounted to 9.7gWh in January 2017.
Domestic consumption needs in January 2017 were met in roughly equal parts by hydro generation (49.7%), on the one hand, and thermal (34.0%) and imported (15.8%) electricity, on the other. The newly built wind power plant accounted for 0.6% of total electricity supply. Total electricity supply from domestic sources was down 1.3% y/y. Hydro generation decreased 10.4% y/y, mainly due to low generation of regulated power plants (-29.3% y/y), excluding Enguri and Vardnili, whose combined production was up 5.6% y/y. The drop in hydro generation was compensated by thermal power (+13.8% y/y) and imports. The amount of imported electricity almost doubled (+92.3% y/y), but from a very low base in January 2016 (-43.9% y/y), and increased only 7.8% compared to January 2015. Most of the imported electricity came from Azerbaijan (96.3%), with the rest (3.7%) imported from Russia, via the Salkhino line, in the beginning of January 2017 to supply the Abkhazian region in island mode. Guaranteed capacity fee was down 21.9% y/y to USc 0.66/kWh. Guaranteed capacity was provided by each of the five guaranteed capacity sources for most of the month. Mtkvari Energy and Gardabani CCGT operated at full power for the entire month, while Blocks 3 and 4 and GPower were mainly providing reserve for the system.
Georgia Renewable Power Company (GRPC) has significant plans in renewable energy project development. GoG has declared intent to sign an MoU for the feasibility study of wind power plants (WPPs) in Tbilisi, Martkopi, and Tkibuli. The company is also planning to develop four additional WPPs. Excluding GRPC’s wind project pipeline, there is approximately 822MW of wind projects under development MoUs.
The fourth phase of rehabilitation on Eguri HPP, which mainly includes works on the 15km tunnel through the Enguri dam to the power house, is scheduled for 2018 and will require approximately EUR 33mn. Enguri HPP halted operations for several days starting February 19th, allowing experts to walk through the tunnel. Enguri HPP, together with Vardnili HPP, satisfies approximately 35% of total annual electricity demand (22% excluding the Abkhazian region).