rss icon Subscribe
desktop mobile

Georgia Scraps Deal on Major Port Project

© Image'in / Adobe Stock

by Margarita Antidze

Georgia has ended an investment agreement with an international consortium for one of the biggest projects in the former Soviet country, the construction of a major deep sea port on the Black Sea coast, its infrastructure minister said on Thursday.

The nine-phase project to improve access to Central Asia and the Middle East had received support from Georgia's strategic partner, the United States, as well as the European Union, which had labelled the planned port at Anaklia a priority project.

"The government discussed this issue and decided that further postponement does not make sense, since the Anaklia consortium will not be able to implement this project," Maia Tskitishvili told reporters after a government meeting.

Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC), which won the state tender to construct the $2.5 billion port and signed a deal with the government in 2016, secured pledged loans for $400 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Before providing the money, however, banks wanted state guarantees that the Georgian government would repay their loans if the project failed, as well as insurance for their risks or for delays in implementation of the project, which included construction of connecting railways and roads.

The government, which had signed a 52-year concession agreement with the ADC, refused to provide such guarantees.

Some experts doubted the commercial viability of the project as the new port was designed to handle 100 million tonnes of cargo per year after five decades, while the four existing Georgian ports together handled less than one million tonnes in 2018.

ADC, which had already put $70 million of private investment into the project, was dealt a blow in August when one of its main members, U.S. company Conti International, decided to leave the consortium. Georgia demanded ADC found a replacement.

The consortium on Thursday accused the government of sabotage.

"We will appeal the government's decision in international court," Levan Akhvlediani, the consortium's director general, told reporters.

(Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Mark Potter)

Jan 9, 2020

 

People & Company News

American Commercial Barge Line Names Ellis as CEO

© Ronald / Adobe Stock

U.S. inland barge transportation company American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL) has named Mike

Newport Shipping Names Loges Managing Director for Germany

Ingmar Loges (Newport Shipping)

Newport Shipping said Ingmar Loges has joined the company as Managing Director, Germany

Lindström Joins Hempel as COO

Katarina Lindström (Photo: Hempel)

Hempel's new Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Katarina Lindström officially

Contracts

L3Harris Wins Contract to Support MSC Vessels

File photo: Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser (U.S. Navy photo by Stephen M. Votaw)

L3Harris Technologies said it has been awarded a five-year Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite

MacGregor to Equip US Navy's T-ATS Vessels

The new T-ATS vessels will replace T-ATF vessels such as the USNS Apache (T-ATF 172), (Photo: Bill Mesta)

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, said it has secured an order to provide deck handling solutions to

Navy Hires NASSCO for USS Bonhomme Richard Cleanup

Fire damage is visible aboard amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) at Naval Base San Diego. (U.S. Navy photo by Jason Waite)

A San Diego shipyard has been awarded $10 million to continue emergency firefighting support

Maritime Apps