Georgia’s Ministry of Economy & Sustainable Development today announced that the Anaklia Development Consortium LLC has been awarded the contract to build and develop a Deep Sea Port in Anaklia. The $2.5 billion project will establish a new maritime corridor between China and Europe, helping restore the historic Silk Road and stimulating national and regional economic growth.
The Anaklia Development Consortium is a joint venture between TBC Holding LLC, which is based in Georgia, and Conti International LLC, a major United States-based developer of infrastructure and capital projects. Other key partners include the leading port designer Moffatt & Nichol and the leading port transaction advisor Maritime & Transport Business Solutions from the Netherlands.
The government of Georgia, which initiated the project, has committed to invest $100 million in ensuring its success.
Mamuka Khazaradze, Founder and President of TBC Holding and Founder and Chairman of TBC Bank JSC, said: “The Anaklia project represents a one-of-a-kind investment in the restoration of the Silk Road that will pay dividends for generations of workers in Asia and Europe. The government of Georgia deserves much credit for its foresight in initiating this project and ensuring it receives the support necessary for its completion. Their level of commitment clearly reflects the Port’s tremendous economic importance to the country and the region.”
Construction on the project is scheduled to launch by the end of 2016, subject to completion of environmental reviews. The Port will be operational three years after its groundbreaking. The project is expected to create as many as 3,400 jobs during the construction stage and 6,400 jobs to operate the Port upon completion. The Port will have the capacity to process 100 million tons of cargo and generate 0.5% of GDP annually by 2025.
Kurt Conti, CEO and President of Conti International, commented: “We are delighted and honored to be awarded the contract to undertake the infrastructure development of Anaklia’s Deep Sea Port. We are looking forward to breaking ground and working with the government of Georgia to help forge new paths from Asia to Europe as well as unlocking the economic potential of Georgia’s neighbors and landlocked nations in the Caucasus.”
Located on the eastern edge of the Black Sea, Anaklia strategically sits on the shortest route from China to Europe. The route has recently become a focal point for $40 billion in Chinese infrastructure investments under the Silk Road Development Fund and already accounts for 26% of Chinese foreign trade volume. The recent opening of the $100 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will also support regional infrastructure development. The restoration of the Silk Road has been a major priority for Georgia as well and builds upon the government’s Deep and Comprehensive Free Industrial Agreement (DCFTA) with the European Union in December 2014.
As part of today’s agreement, the Anaklia Development Consortium also receives the right to develop a Free Industrial Zone that will support the Port’s operations and trade and be home to local and international entrepreneurship. It will be administered with a tax-free regime to incentivize shipping companies, manufacturers, businesses and employees to relocate and use the Port.
Anaklia’s Port is poised to revitalize the Caucasus and Central Asia by opening up trade routes for neighbors and landlocked nations such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kirgizstan and Tajikistan. Access to these countries is limited and infrastructure development in Anaklia can provide the most efficient and safest route to millions living in Central Asia and the Caucasus.
About the Anaklia Deep Sea Port:
- The Port will encompass about 400 hectares of land. The Anaklia Development Consortium is receiving exclusive and irrevocable rights to use this land for 49 years.
- Estimated capital expenditures for the Port will amount to $2.5 billion.
- The Port will provide deep-sea accessibility for ships up to post-Panamax size.
- Upon completion, the Port will have the capacity to process up to 100 million tons of cargo per year.
- The Port will serve as the main gateway for imports for approximately 17 million inhabitants of the landlocked Caucasus and 146 million inhabitants of Central Asian countries.
- The infrastructure capacity and the depth of the Deep Sea Port will allow it to serve the largest vessels sailing on the Black Sea, that are too large to call any of the existing Georgian ports.
- The Port will have capacity to berth 10,000 TEU vessels.
- The Anaklia Development Consortium is also receiving the right to develop a Free Industrial Zone on about 600 hectares of land adjacent to the Port.
- The Deep Sea Port’s state-of-the-art equipment and other operational efficiencies are expected to provide a cost benefit of over $170 per TEU.
- The European Commission has predicted that a modernization of shipping services at Anaklia will save the EU’s economy up to 10 billion Euros by 2030 and reduce associated port costs by almost 7%.