The government has selected two consortia to move through to the final phase of the bidding process on design, construction and operation of the deep-sea port in Anaklia.
One of the two final bidders is a consortium of Anaklia Industrial Eco-Park and Port, a company founded by Georgian businessman Teimuraz Karchava, who owns businesses in Russia and Georgia and who is also linked to a thermal power plant project in Vanadzor, Armenia, and Chinese state-owned Power Construction Corporation of China (PowerChina).
Another one is Anaklia Development Consortium, a venture launched specifically for this purpose by the TBC Bank supervisory board chairman Mamuka Khazaradze, who has teamed up with U.S. company Conti Group, a developer and builder of capital asset projects.
The government said on June 9 that the two consortia are now expected to submit their final offers based on which a winner will be selected, which will have to launch construction of the port by spring, 2016.
There were 12 original bidders, seven of which were shortlisted in January 2015 and then narrowed down to these two groups.
According to the government’s requirements, the deep-sea port in Anaklia should have the capacity to handle 7 million tons of cargo initially and gradually increase its capacity to at least 40 million tons in twelve years.
During the first phase of the project – first three years of port’s operation – the port should be capable of handling at least 7 million tons of mixed cargo annually. In following four years the capacity should increase to 20 million tons and it should double by the twelfth year of port’s operation.
In terms of standard containers, the target of 40 million tons of mixed cargo is about 3 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).
Ports in Poti and Batumi are capable to handle only feeder vessels, carrying a maximum of 1,700 containers. Larger panamax size vessels with Georgia-bound cargo use other ports in the region, mostly in Istanbul, where containers are reloaded to feeder ships which then transported to Poti and Batumi.
In 2014 container throughput of Georgian ports increased by 18.5% y/y to 480,000 TEUs of which 80% was handled by the country’s largest port in Poti.
APM Terminals, which operates and owns 80% stakes in the port of Poti, has announced about a “large scale port expansion” plan.
The plan involves building of two new deep water berths able to accommodate vessels with capacities of 9,000 TEUs and an annual throughput capacity of one million TEUs.
APM Terminals expects to complete the project in 2018.
“While recent World Bank economic growth forecasts for the broader Caucasus region have been reduced, APM Terminals is committed to our ongoing investment in Poti Seaport,” APM Terminals Poti deputy managing director Joseph Crowley said while speaking at the annual Black Sea Ports and Shipping Conference in Istanbul late last month.
He also said that “the Poti mega-port” will be built upon the existing port infrastructure in the upgrade of which APM Terminals has already invested over USD 70 million since assuming its operation in 2011.