Anaklia Deep Sea Port Land Construction Works to start in December

Anaklia Deep Sea Port land construction works are to kick off on December 20, it was announced at a meeting between Anaklia Development Consortium and Georgian business sector representatives held at the Tax Payers Union’s office on Friday.

“Anaklia Deep Sea Port is a project of unprecedented scale for our country, with which the process of creating a new reality both for Georgia and for the entire region has begun,” Mamuka Khazaradze, Anaklia Development Consortium Co-Founder said.

“Work on the Anaklia Deep Sea Port project started last year and we made a promise that within one year we would start the actual construction process,” he added. “It has been an intense year, seeing our team working alongside experts, professionals and world-leading international companies in marine infrastructure and environmental assessment. We managed to fulfil our promise and now we’re starting yet another important stage of the project, launching the actual construction works of the Anaklia Deep Sea Port”.

In June, SSA Marine, a leading US operator, was announced as the future container terminal operator, as well as an investor in the Anaklia Deep Sea Port. The Anaklia Deep Sea Port master plan was prepared by Anaklia Development Consortium and approved by the Government of Georgia in October 2017, a document on which ADC for a period of one year worked together with an international company MTBS.

In addition, in June Anaklia City JSC was established and Anaklia City & Special Economic Zone project launched. A memorandum with South Korea’s Incheon Free Economic Zone was signed, and communications with over 100 international companies began. At the same time, Anaklia City announced expression of interest on the Anaklia development plan, visionary master planning and economic analysis. The company is reviewing proposals from more than 30 international consulting consortiums. The study is to commence in late November 2017.

Other major stages of the Anaklia Deep Sea Port project included marine, engineering, geo-technical, topography and other studies carried out by leading Dutch company Van Oord. The Anaklia Development Consortium has already completed the majority of feasibility studies, the project Phase 1 preliminary design has been developed and submitted, prepared together with leading international companies including Moffatt and Nichol, Royal Haskoning DHV and Van Oord.

The Georgian government has already transferred parts of the Anaklia Port investment area to Anaklia Development Consortium. An environmental impact assessment of the project was carried out by ADC through which over 50 studies were made to examine the flora, fauna and marine areas of the Anaklia Deep Sea port and its adjacent territory. Further to that, public meetings were held in the process of working on said assessment, while up to 20 local and international companies were involved, Royal Haskoning DHV and Ecoline International among them. Social and economic studies of the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region were also carried out.

“Together with our international partners, Conti Group, we changed the initial approach and the concept of the project, deciding to use 340 hectares of the 1000 hectares of land for the port itself, as technologies are developing extremely fast and ports today are practically large software companies, optimizing logistics, meaning there’s no need for huge territories for container transportation,” Khazaradze said. “We decided to build the Port in nine phases with an ultimate capacity of 100 million tons. Our idea was to have a port plus a special economic zone”.

The Special Economic Zone is to be an administrative entity working under a special regime for which an organic law is to be written.

“This will make the area attractive for transportation, and for logistical centers and enterprises,” he said, adding that the Anaklia Deep Sea Port will become a transport and logistics hub of the region.

The Friday meeting went on with detailed presentations of the Port and Anaklia City projects made by Levan Akhvlediani, ADC CEO, and Ketevan Bochorishvili, CEO, Anaklia City, describing the works already complete, the future impact and the opportunities those ambitious projects offer.

“Due to its geographical location, Georgia has huge potential as a transit country,” Akhvlediani said. “It serves two regions, with primary and secondary markets, primary being the South Caucasus market, with Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia and the secondary market of Central Asia countries and the North Iran”.

He noted that Georgia’s competitiveness has decreased due to a lack of infrastructure for the transportation of goods, with its main competitors the Russian corridor, Baltic countries and Iranian corridor. Akhvlediani stressed that with China increasingly developing the Silk Road, it changes the trade environment between the Europe and China, the potential of which Georgia needs to “fully benefit from”.

“Every year, approximately 34 million containers are transported from China to Europe, and even if 1 or 2% of it comes through Georgia, it will have a great economic effect on our country,” Akhvlediani said.

Georgia is the only country today in the Black Sea area without a deep-sea port, while Poti, as the major port of the country, lacks capacity to serve large container ships, “which means that, according to forecasts, by 2021, Georgia with just Batumi and Poti ports operating, would have no potential to fulfil the existing high demands, and that’s why the Anaklia Deep Sea Port project is such an important one for our country”.

Members and partners of the Anaklia Development Consortium include Conti Group, TBC Holding and a new strategic partner that recently joined logistics company, Wondernet Express.

The overall project cost is $2.5 billion, and ADC was granted Anaklia Deep Sea Port for a 52-year concession.

“The first phase, construction of which is to start on December 20, 2017, will make a capacity of 900,000 containers, and a 1.5 million bulk cargo transportation- the overall budget for the first phase being $540 million,” Akhvlediani said.

Within three years, the Anaklia Deep Sea Port is to receive the first ships. “The overall added economic value of the Anaklia Deep Sea Port project will be more than 300 billion, with as much as 21,000 people to be employed,” he added.

Anaklia City is expected to be a dynamic, modern industrial and logistics hub which, like the Anaklia Deep Sea Port, “will bring tremendous economic effects to Georgia,” said Ketevan Bochorishvili. “This will be an industrial zone to accumulate numerous international companies, new technologies and new employment opportunities,” she stressed.

While emphasizing the importance of Anaklia City, Bochorishvili said that it’s an advantage to the port, since with the highly organized infrastructure will allow it to offer additional services to companies on site, based on a ‘one window’ principle.

“Our aim is to attract as many foreign companies as we can, ones which have not previously considered entering Georgia, and we would like to also attract production companies that could benefit from the existing free trade agreements our country already has with the EU and China, which, of course, opens enormous opportunities,” the Anaklia City CEO said. “This is the first phase of the project we’re talking about, which will then develop the industrial park and logistics center into the scale of the city, adding new business services and demands on housing, health, tourism, education, IT and communication development, which in perspective will bring us a fully-functioning city,” she added.

“SSA Marine, which is the operator of 250 terminals around the world, is not only the terminal operator of the Anaklia Deep Sea Port, they are also investors, and this is something crucially important,” Mamuka Khazaradze said to round up the meeting, adding that the Consortium is currently working with a leading Chinese company to unite a Georgian-American Chinese conglomerate within the Anaklia Deep Sea Port project.

“We’re open to all to participate, promote and support this project, I’m sure you’ll see lots of opportunities for your businesses in it,” Khazaradze concluded, addressing the attending Georgian business representatives.

Nino Gugunishvili

16 October 2017 20:18