US - Georgia Major Partnership: Signing an Agreement with SSA Marine

SSA Marine, a company regarded as having a strong future focus and possessing a long history of international trade and highly efficient logistics, is now officially appointed as Terminal Operator for the Anaklia Deep Sea Port. Hailed as the start of “a journey into the future,” the agreement signing ceremony between the Anaklia Development Consortium and the leading US terminal operator, SSA Marine, was held on August 1.

The signing of the agreement took place within the framework of the US Vice President Mike Pence’s two-day visit to Georgia, bringing even more significance to the event.

“The Anaklia Deep Sea Port shows the potential of stronger bilateral relations between our nations,” Pence said. “American companies are investing, alongside their Georgian counterparts, in this multi-billion dollar project as we look to the future of our two nations- having untold opportunities to contribute even more to each other’s prosperity”.

Anaklia is being positioned as the main trade gateway to the Caucasus and beyond, providing a vital link for economic development across the entire region, “a place of great significance to the future of regional and global commerce”.

The agreement grants SSA Marine with the operating rights to the Anaklia Deep Sea Port’s container terminal for the next twenty years. The Anaklia Deep Sea project is expected to further strengthen economic growth both nationally and regionally, while establishing a maritime corridor between China and Europe.

Alongside yet another leading US infrastructure and capital projects developer, Conti International, a company which is a part of the Anaklia Development Consortium, while Conti Group is the investor of the project, SSA Marine is said to have been chosen as the port’s terminal operator for its vast experience in overseeing over 250 operations across the five continents, managing terminals in nine countries and servicing 27.2 million containers (TEU). The company also handles more than 75 million tons of dry bulk globally, manages cruise ship operations in US and Mexico, and operates over 30 intermodal rail ramps for US Class I railroads.

The construction of the Anaklia Deep Sea Port is to be launched later this year while Operational Phase 1 is scheduled to start in 2020-2021

Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia; Anaklia Development Consortium founder, Mamuka Khazaradze; Kurt Conti, Co- Founder of ADC, Senior Vice President of SSA Marine, Robert Watters, and members of the Georgian government attended the August 1 signing.

Underlining the importance of the agreement, the PM said, “We are committed to bringing more economic substance to our strategic, bilateral cooperation and this is high proof of the fact”.

He also noted that the goal is to create the best platform for US business interests in the region, and the involvement of US companies in large regional infrastructural projects is “very important”.

”Along with our American partners, we have been given the opportunity to open Georgia’s gateway to the sea and to mark Anaklia’s place on the world map and convert it into a most crucial logistics hub. The fact that such a powerful American company as SSA Marine is investing in Georgia is itself a strategic and important precedent for our country,” Khazaradze said prior to the official signing ceremony.

The agreement was signed by Levan Akhvlediani, CEO, Anaklia Development Consortium, and Robert Watters, Senior Vice President of SSA Marine.

Nino Gugunishvili

03 August 2017 20:43