The Georgian Government is inviting local and international investors to show their interest in being involved in the development of Anaklia Port in western Georgia.
The Government have asked potential investors to submit expressions of interest to develop the mixed-cargo port on a build, operate and transfer basis. The port will be located on the Black Sea coast of Georgia, near Anaklia resort in western Georgia, and will spread over 1,000 hectares and have access to a deep sea canyon.
The Government hoped construction on the port would begin within 18 months from when the successful investor signed the official agreement.
The development will be separated into seven phases and the investor must achieve milestones along the way to ensure the project was on track. One milestone the investor must reach was within five years from the beginning of the development of phase seven, the Anaklia Port must be able to handle 100 million tonnes of cargo per year.
In addition, port must have the ability to receive large vessels of at least 6,500 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) capacity.
Official documents noted the successful investor would be responsible for providing equity and attract debt financing for the project. Furthermore, the investor must attract appropriate cargo volumes for the new port.
The wider area in western Georgia is earmarked for development, the Government noted. As well as construction of Anaklia Port, development of logistics and industry zones and construction of an airport and liquid gas terminal are also planned for the region.
Authorities are also expected to announce a free economic zone on the Anaklia Port territory however further details are to be finalized prior to execution of the investment agreement.
The Government believed the new port would become one of the main attractions of Georgia and it expected this project would gain historical importance.
"Anaklia Port would be the shortest route to connect Europe,” Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said at a presentation of the new port.
"Considering the growth of trade flows between the regions, the new Port would bring immense benefits to everyone,” he noted.
Currently four ports are operating in Georgia: Batumi, Poti, Supsa and Kulevi.
Batumi Port operated through a concession by a wholly-owned subsidiary of KazMunayGas, a state-owned oil and gas company of Kazakhstan that mainly concentrated on liquid cargo but also handled dry bulk cargo and containers.
Supsa was the property of BP, oil terminal while Poti Port was operated by APM Terminals – an independent business unit within the Danish-based Maersk Group that mainly focused on dry bulk and containers.
Kulevi Port mainly dealt with liquid cargo and was operated by SOCAR, state-owned oil and natural gas corporation of Azerbaijan.
Georgia’s Ministry of Economy said the depth of existing ports in Georgia was "not sufficient” to accept mid-sized cargo ships or very large crude carriers however construction of the new port would eliminate this barrier.