Kerry Logistics, Asia’s leading 3PL service provider, announced this week the signing of a memorandum of understanding between its member company Globalink and Anaklia City JSC to develop the Anaklia Deep Sea Port and Special Economic Zone on Georgia’s Black Sea coast.
Scheduled for opening by the end of 2020, Anaklia is expected to become the first deep sea port of Georgia capable to allocate 10,000 TEU vessels and one of the largest ports in the Black Sea region with a designed capacity of 100 mln tonnes at full development. It will handle a mix of cargoes including containers, dry bulk and liquid bulk. The Anaklia SEZ, comprising modern logistics and industrial parks, will be fully integrated with rail and road connections to the infrastructure networks of Georgia and neighbouring countries.
The multi-purpose port is to be built in 9 phases, the constructing works on Phase I, which include a container terminal and a rail yard, kicked off in December 2017.
The Hong Kong-based Kerry Logistics is not the only foreign investor interested in the development. Earlier, we wrote that Chinese companies were getting involved in this ambitious project. These include the world-famous port equipment manufacturer ZPMC and China Railway International Group, a professional overseas contractor for China Railway Group Ltd. Obviously, this interest is explained by the strategic location of Anaklia, which may potentially serve as a cargo gateway from China to the landlocked Central Asian and Caucasian regions.
Besides, last June, SSA Marine, the US port operating company, was announced as the terminal operator for the Anaklia port.
The leading Dutch maritime engineering company Van Oord was awarded a contract for dredging and reclamation. The works are reported to start in August. Van Oord will reclaim 5 mln m3 of sand from the sea and dump the dredged material on the port area encompassing 70 ha.
Commenting on the prospective co-operation, Edwardo Erni, Managing Director – China and North Asia of Kerry Logistics, said: “We are honoured to be given the opportunity to participate in this exciting project. With Globalink’s proven track record in the Georgian market, and our comprehensive multimodal freight network across Eurasia, we are committed to devising innovative solutions to facilitate the building of Anaklia Port into a successful logistics hub for the region with integrated logistics, sea-rail, and sea-road services.”
According to Ketevan Bochorishvili, CEO of Anaklia City JSC, the new port will “unlock a potential market of over 150 million consumers and serve as a bridge between Asia and Europe.”
The future container terminal in Anaklia will be the third in Georgia, competing with the current APM Terminals Poti and ICTSI’s Batumi for the scarce volumes. In 2017, Georgia’s ports handled 229,619 TEU (laden containers), which accounts for just 11.4% of all Black Sea ports. Georgian ports have been suffering a decline in container throughput since 2014, until last year, when they showed a growth of 17.61%.