Infrastructure Ministry: Anaklia Port not linked to any individuals, incorrect interpretations harm the project

The Georgian Infrastructure Ministry says that the government got involved in the negotiations between the Anaklia Development Consortium and international financial institutions to save the project. Photo: Infrastructure Ministry press office., 25 Jul 2019 - 19:02, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Ministry of Infrastructure has responded to the statement of TBC founder Mamuka Khazaradze, that charges filed  against him aim to stop the Anaklia Port Project, and said that the implementation of the project ‘is not, and cannot possibly be  connected’ with any private individuals or companies.

Incorrect interpretations and speculations, unfortunately, disturb the development of the project, as well as important negotiations between investors and financial institutions,” the ministry says.

The ministry states that speculations concerning the Anaklia Port have not come to an end, ‘even though the priority of the project has been confirmed by almost all the members of the government, from every possible platform.’

Anaklia Port issheduled to be completed by 2020. Image by Anaklia Development Consortium.

For almost a year, politicians and the media have often disseminated incorrect facts and interpretations regarding the project with the exclusive aim of misinforming public, which disturbs the development of the project in a healthy environment,” reads the statement.

The ministry says that the government is fulfilling all the obligations taken for the construction of the $2.5 billion port, which will connect Europe and Asia with an alternative, short route by 2020.

We are actively conducting the construction works of the road and railroad leading to the Anaklia Port, as agreed in the project. Works are also underway for possible changes in the investment agreement,” the ministry reports.

The statement reads that starting from August 2017, the deadline for the construction of the first phase of the port was delayed several times, at the request of the Anaklia Development Consortium.

According to the latest changes made last month, this deadline has been shifted to the end of 2019.”

The ministry says that to “save the project”, the government got involved in the negotiations between the Anaklia Development Consortium and international financial institutions.

Investigation regarding the money laundering case was launched in August 2018. Photo:1TV.

The topic of the negotiations was the issuance of a loan to the Anaklia Consortium, which was necessary for the financing of the construction of the port. After two rounds of negotiations, parties agreed on practically all the requirements set out by the banks, except for the one regarding the insurance of the investors’ commercial risks by the government and the provision of complete collateral security for the loan.”

The ministry says that the government has said “on numerous occasions” that they are not looking for another company to build the port.

Construction of the Anaklia deep water port is of utmost importance for the country, and the government has confirmed this by providing unprecedented levels of support at every stage of the project’s implementation.”

The US, UK embassies and the EU representation to Georgia have released statements regarding the money laundering charges filed against Khazaradze and another co-founder of the bank Badri Japaridze, urging transparent investigation.