The Georgian Government has plans to hire a consulting group which will ensure aid in selection of investors and other mandatory procedures for facilitating the construction of the deep sea port in Georgia’s Black Sea town of Anaklia, Georgian Economy Minister Levan Davitashvili said on Monday.
Davitashvili announced the plans that follow the failure of a previous consortium unveiled as the winner of a related tender to attract $2.5 billion in funds to construct the port near Georgia’s Russian-occupied Abkhazia region.
Speaking to media following the Government cabinet meeting, Davitashvili said the 2014 tender for selecting investors for the project and completion of a number of mandatory procedures over five years until 2019 meant authorities could skip several stages and “speed up” the construction process by selecting new partners with the help of consultants.
Now the Government is in need of a consulting group or groups which will draft conditions for selection of investors very professionally”, Davitashvili said, noting the Government “already has sufficient information” to correctly formulate the conditions and choose “right partners”.
In comments about investors, the Minister said several large investors from Abu Dhabi, Persian Gulf and Central Asian countries were interested in the constitution of the deep sea port.
It is also very important to correctly define the model of the public-private partnership in the project. It is critically important for the successful implementation of the project and to get the results we want, which includes having modern port infrastructure that will serve the use of the country’s transit potential, the interests of our people, and will further increase cargo flow via Georgia. ”, Davitashvili said.
In further details, the Minister said a “high-level design work” of the port had been carried out and made available, while an economic study had been conducted by the Dutch consulting company MTBS, which included figures about the possible flow of cargo in the port.
Anaklia Development Consortium, the winner of the previous tender to build the deep sea port in Anaklia, was unable to obtain the required $400 million in loans from international financial institutions and $120 million from potential investors by the official expiration of the term limits at the end of 2019.
The consortium had signed a deal with the Government in 2016, with TBC Holding as its principal partner, to attract a total of $2.5 billion in funds needed for the port construction. Construction works started in 2017 before their suspension two years later.