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Georgia's Energy Sector - Electricity Market watch- September 2018

6 Nov, 2018

Energy community secretariat’s implementation report issued on 1 September 2018 measures Georgia’s progress for the first time. The report evaluates progress of 9 contracting parties, including Georgia, towards implementation of EU legislation (acquis communautaire) in sectors related to energy and environment. A report assesses a total of 37 sub-indicators across the nine sectors. Overall score of Georgia is circa 23% (out of maximum 100%), meaning that Georgia needs to make significant changes into legislation to become in line with EU rules and regulations. According to the report, out of 9 measured sectors, Georgia is moderately advanced in energy statistics, is on early implementation stage for electricity, renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy infrastructure and environment sectors, and ranks very poorly in oil, natural gas and climate sectors. We expect major changes into legislation for electricity, renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors by the end-2018, as set in protocol regarding accession of Georgia to the Energy Community charter treaty. According to implementation report, at least a year is needed for testing and adjusting the relevant implementing provisions and market instruments. Thus, Georgia is targeting to have fully functional and competitive wholesale and retail markets of electricity by 2020.

Electricity consumption increased by 3.9% y/y in September 2018, 4.9% below the planned level. Main contributors to the growth were eligible consumers and Energo-pro Georgia , while Telasi had the negative effect on growth. Consumption was below the planned level for all consumer groups.  In 9M18, electricity consumption is up by 7.3% y/y.

Demand on electricity was mostly satisfied by domestic generation  in September 2018. Main contributors to the growth of domestic generation (+3.5% y/y) were TPPs (49.5% y/y) and HPPs, other than Enguri/Vardnili (+9.5% y/y). Since the demand on electricity grew below the planned level, the supply by Engur/Vardnili was reduced by 12.4% y/y. 

Electricity imports accounted for 14.1% of total electricity supply. Imports came from Russia (96.6% of imports) and Azerbaijan (3.4%). ESCO was the sole importer of the energy in September 2018. ESCO’s supplier (Inter-Rao ues) and import country (Russia) was selected via tender procedure announced and closed in August 2018. Average price of electricity imports to Georgia was down 12.7% y/y to USc 4.2/kWh in September 2018. The decrease in price might be the result of ESCO’s tender for supplier.

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Georgia's Energy Sector - Electricity Market watch - August 2018

2 Oct, 2018

Electricity consumption growth rate was revised upwards by 3ppts for 2018. On August 27, 2018 Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development updated the forecast of electricity (capacity) balance for 2018. Based on this document, forecast for electricity consumption in 2018 was revised upwards to 13.0TWh, which is 9.9% y/y increase and the highest growth of electricity consumption since 2010. This growth in demand expected to be satisfied by increased thermal generation and imports. Notably, imports are planned at last year’s record high level. The new balance also incorporates the changes into legislation made in May 2018 regarding the eligibility criteria for direct consumers and traditionally includes actual figures for 7M18.

Electricity consumption growth slowed in August 2018, increasing by just 1.0% y/y after the 11.8% y/y growth during May-July period. The slowdown in growth can be explained by the high base of August 2017 (+14.4%) and favourable weather conditions leading to decreased needs for air-conditioning. Domestic consumption of electricity in 8M18 was up by 7.7% y/y. Eligible consumers’ increased their consumption by 24.4% y/y, explained by addition of new companies to the group of eligible consumers, in line with legal changes effective since May 2018. Consumption by distribution licensees was down by 3.1% y/y in August 2018, caused by above-mentioned reallocation of eligible consumers and favorable weather conditions.

There was no export of electricity in August 2018 because of the deficit in the system. Generally, August is considered as an export month, but high growth in electricity consumption led to significantly low exports of electricity during 2015-2017 (3-year average at 28GWh).

Drop in hydro generation (-12.3% y/y) caused thermal generation (+81.2% y/y) and imports (+36.7%y/y) growth in August 2018. The low volume of hydro Generation is explained by bad hydrological conditions and maintenance works on some regulated HPPs. Notably, generation of new HPPs increased in August, contributing positively to the total supply of electricity. A 9.2% of electricity demand was satisfied by electricity imports from Azerbaijan (65.7% of imports) and Russia (34.3%).

Wholesale market prices in Georgia increased 0.6% y/y to USc 4.7/kWh in August 2018. A 16.4% of total electricity supplied to the grid in August 2018 was traded through the market operator ESCO, with the rest traded through bilateral contracts.

Turkish electricity prices increased by dramatic 70.6% y/y in TRY terms, but in US$ terms y/y growth was mere 4.6%. This was market reaction to TRY’s radical depreciation in August 2018 as energy sector is highly sensitive to FX movements and is anchored to US$, based on analysts’ assessments. In august 2018, average electricity prices in Turkey reached US$ 5.3/kWh

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Georgia's Energy Sector - Electricity Market watch - July 2018

12 Sept, 2018

Energy sector is one of the strategically important sectors under newly adopted Public-Private Partnership law. The legislation, among others, envisages the possibility of granting long-term guaranteed purchase agreement to the investor. The law on Public-Private partnership was approved by the Parliament of Georgia in May 2018. Later in August 2018, the government of Georgia adopted the rule for PPP projects screening and implementation. These documents define the general framework for PPP projects initiation, partner finding and monitoring.

The project initiation and private partner finding process under PPP framework is generally led by special entities, based on transparent and competitive principles. The energy sector has some exemptions from general rules, e.g: for the projects larger than 100MW, the initiation process must include feasibility study conducted by independent company; all energy sector PPP projects should be agreed with the government despite the size of the project; private companies are allowed to initiate the project; the Government has right to allow closed and direct negotiations with only one partner, skipping the public tendering and evaluation procedure.

The export season of 2018 ended with total export of 588.3GWh (-9.9% y/y). The decrease in 7M exports is explained by: 1) last year’s high base due to unexpected surplus in hydro generation, 2) disruption of export caused by Enguri’s emergency closure in May-2018, 3) low prices on Turkish market, incentivizing companies with TDAs (e.g. Georgian Urban Energy) to sign additional agreements with the GoG and limit export to only May-July period in favor of increased local supply.  Although the volume of exported electricity was down, its total value increased by 13.8% y/y to US$ 19.0mn, as Russia’s share (which pays low price vs other markets) in total exports decreased y/y. The electricity trade deficit stood at US$ 11.8mn in 7M18 and was down 40.8% y/y as growth in exports partly absorbed imports.

Domestic electricity consumption increased 10.8% y/y in July 2018 and 8.8% y/y in 7M18. The eligible consumers and distribution licensees drove this growth. The demand was satisfied by hydro generation in July 2018. Hydro Generation increased slightly (+1.5% y/y) and reached 1.3TWh, supported by good hydrological conditions and commissioning of new HPPs. Meanwhile, the maintenance works on some regulated HPPs dragged the supply. Enguri/Vardnili generation (+11.2% y/y) satisfied 65.9% of electricity demand in July 2018. In 7M18 generation of Enguri/Vardnili increased 24.8% y/y and reached its record high generation since 2010 (3.2TWh). Thermal generation and imports accounted for 0.7% of total electricity supply, used only for system’s balancing and stability purposes.

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Georgian Tourism Sector - 1H18 - Tourism Boom Continues

27 Aug, 2018

Tourism is booming: visitor trips (tourist trips and same-day trips combined) were up 16.4% y/y to 3.0mn in 1H18. Tourist trips drove the growth, reaching 1.9mn visitors and accounting for 64.5% of the total in 1H18. This comfortably translates into our total tourist trip forecast for 2018 of 4.9mn. Leisure and recreation is the predominant purpose of visits to Georgia, and visitors enjoy Georgian cuisine the most. With Georgia’s regions attracting a growing number of visitors and the regional accommodation market undersupplied, the timing for the hotel development in Georgia’s regions looks right.

Tourist trips drove growth, accounting for 64.5% of total in 1H18. Tourist trips rose 22.9% y/y to 1.9mn in 1H18, which we expect to comfortably translate into our total tourist trip forecast for 2018 of 4.9mn.

We expect tourist trips to reach nearly 9mn by 2022. We have revised our forecast upwards and now expect 8.8mn tourist trips in 2022 (up from 7.6mn previously), or 2.4x the country’s population based on a new methodology (see Table 1 and Box 1 for clarification). This increase will see Georgia overtake Hungary (1.6x), Slovenia (1.5x), Albania (1.4x) and Bulgaria (1.2x) according to their 2016 ratios. However, this would still be below the proportions found in Croatia (3.3x), Cyprus (2.7x) and Montenegro (2.7x) in 2016.

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