Is the gov’t planning to back out of agreement with Anaklia Development Consortium?

The first phase of development of Anaklia port is due to be completed by November 20, 2020. Artist Impression: Anaklia Port., 01 Apr 2019 - 14:36, Tbilisi,Georgia

Anaklia Deep Sea Port project has once again become the topic of discussion, the main question now being whether the Georgian government is considering backing out of an agreement signed with the Anaklia Development Consortium in 2016.

The government of Georgia signed an agreement with White & Case on March 15, 2019 for legal advisory services in relation to amendments to the investment agreement executed between the government of Georgia and the Anaklia Development Consortium on October 3, 2016.

The firm will provide an analysis of the possible results of the government’s decision to terminate the investment agreement with the Anaklia Development Consortium.

The cost of the agreement is $47,000.

  • Click here to read the agreement.

Anaklia Development Consortium said that construction works are developing according to a plan. Photo: Anaklia Port.

Once this agreement was signed local media and the opposition raised the issue of the connection between the Anaklia Deep Sea Port project and the ongoing money laundering investigation involving the founder of TBC Bank Mamuka Khazaradze, who is also the founder of the Anaklia Development Consortium.

Khazaradze commented on the reports that the government is looking for a new company to replace the Anaklia Development Consortium today, and said that the state has the right to study all the risks and “I do not see anything special in it”.

Just why it is happening today and in this situation, this fact raises questions and let’s wait for further developments”, he said.

Khazaradze added that he came back from the United States today where he had a meeting with his American partners.

A cutter suction dredger ship, the Athena, arrived in Anaklia on September 17, 2018 to dredge the port bed and bring up some five million cubic meters of mud out of the sea. Photo: Anaklia Port. 

The mood of the Americans and the banks is very mobilised [sic]...I think that the goal, efforts and purpose of all the involved parties, the state, the consortium and the people of Georgia should be directed and mobilised towards the implementation of this project. I call on all sides to do everything to lead this project to victory”, Khazaradze said.

On the other hand Georgian Economy Minister Giorgi Kobulia explained that the government is interested in learning about the legal risks if the consortium fails to attract investments on time.

[Should the] Anaklia Development Consortium fail to eventually attract the amount of capital outlined by the contract or if negotiations with international financial institutions are not held... in this case we should be interested in and it is absolutely acceptable for us to learn about the legal risks”, Kobulia said.

Kobulia added that there is no discussion underway regarding other investors at this moment.