The Georgian government announced on July 10 call for expression of interest on design, construction and operation of deep-see port in Anaklia with an initial capacity to handle 7 million tons and gradually increasing its capacity to at least 40 million tons in twelve years.
The government said that companies with at least ten years of experience of implementing such projects are invited to submit their proposals before October 1, 2014.
PM Irakli Garibashvili said on July 10 that at this stage the government does not consider co-financing of the project by the state.
The government plans to allocate 1,000 hectares of land to an investor for construction of port in Anaklia, which is located close to the administrative boundary line of breakaway Abkhazia. The government said it is ready to also consider setting up of a free industrial zone in the area adjacent to planned port as it is at the port of Poti, south from Anaklia.
The port, according to requirements set by the government, should be operational within two years after commencement of its construction.
During the first phase of the project – first three years of port’s operation, its capacity should be handling of at least 7 million tons of mixed cargo annually; in following four years, according to government’s requirements, capacity should increase further to 20 million tons and it should double by the twelfth year of port’s operation.
In terms of standard containers, target of 40 million tons of mixed cargo is about 3 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), according to the Georgian Economy Ministry, which said that total capacity of Georgia’s two ports in Batumi and Poti is less than 500,000 TEUs annually.
Container throughput in Georgia’s ports of Poti and Batumi reached 403,447 TEU in 2013, a 13% increase over the previous year, according to the Georgian Economy Ministry.
Ports in Poti and Batumi are capable to handle only feeder vessels, carrying 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 head to Poti and Batumi “increasing significantly cost and time of transportation,” Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said on July 10.