Ukraine war revives plan for Georgia’s deep Black Sea port

The Anaklia Development Corporation’s rendering of its version of the port project
Georgia, the country, is planning to revive a multi-billion-dollar deep-sea port project at Anaklia on the Black Sea three years after it dropped the scheme over problems with finance, website reports.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili announced in parliament yesterday that the port would be built “with the co-participation of the state”. He said the government would take a 51% share of the completed asset, and would issue “an international call” for the remainder of the finance, and for “partner companies”.

The previous scheme, which had an estimated cost of $2.5bn, was to have begun in 2017, with the participation of a consortium. That plan, which attracted $100m in state finance, broke down amid political controversy and arbitration actions between the government and the consortium members.  

Now the effect of the Ukraine war on trade patterns in the Black Sea has made the port a more attractive proposition.

The Eurasianet website notes that the shippers are diverting cargoes that used to pass through Russia and Ukraine to the “Middle Corridor” that passes through Georgia, Azerbaijan, the Caspian Sea and Kazakhstan. As a result the country “desperately needs a deep-sea port to take advantage of the opportunity”.

Levan Davitashvili, Georgia’s economics minister, told reporters yesterday that meetings had already been held with port operators and logistics companies who are interested in participating in the renewed scheme.

“We hope that we will complete the selection process in January next year … so that by 2023 we can start construction works and port development,” he said.

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