As Georgia turns its attention toward rebuilding the nation’s economic strength in the wake of the
Covid-19 health crisis, two vital ingredients of a strong economy — foreign investment and major
infrastructure projects – naturally come to mind.
The development of a deep water seaport at Anaklia, together with the Special Economic Zone that
would be a catalyst for thousands of jobs and the creation of a new, vibrant city, offers the perfect
solution to lead Georgia’s economic rebirth.
Fortunately, through the work it has already carried out, the Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC) is
the right partner with the government to achieve this shared vision, ready to restart work promptly.
While the project is currently stalled by a dispute with the Government, ADC has temporarily paused
with filing an arbitration claim against the Government as Georgia responds to the Covid-19 public
health crisis. At the same time, ADC has voiced its willingness to avoid the arbitration so that the
dispute does not further delay this strategic infrastructure project, and work cooperatively with the
Government to attract additional investors and continue with the work that has already commenced.
The benefits of continuing development of the Anaklia Deep Water Seaport are considerable:
Foreign investment: Foreign investors are already on-board with the project, with more being
Jobs: Direct and indirect employment of up to 16,000.
Revenue for the Government: Over the duration of the concession, the royalties to be paid by ADC to
the Government are estimated to be USD 500 million. In addition, ownership of the Port of Anaklia will
transfer to the Government at the conclusion of the concession period, meaning even further direct
revenue for the Government.
Significant progress has already been accomplished:
• ADC has been actively promoting the Anaklia Deep Water Port on an international level. Since
signing the investment agreement in 2016, ADC has signed cooperation agreements with
strategic peers along the Middle Corridor (ports in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan);
joined the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route to become a vital part of the cargo
transit between Europe and China; collected commitments to attract new bulk cargo from
Central Asia; and established cooperation with the Constanza port in Romania to secure the
connectivity with the European Union as major trade partner.
• Mandate letters have been signed with four international financial institutions (IFI) including
the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Asian Development Bank
(ADB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Overseas Private Investment
Corporation (OPIC) for debt funding of USD 400 million.
• Eiffage, one of the largest European construction companies, has been selected as the general
construction contractor for the Anaklia Development Consortium. Eiffage will provide the
construction of the first phase for Anaklia Port together with its local and international partner
companies: Dutch ABB and Georgian CRP.
• SSA Marine, a major U.S.-based international port operator, has been appointed as terminal
operator for the Anaklia Deep Water Seaport.
• ZPMC, China’s largest company, has been selected to supply Anaklia port with electrified
rubber tired gantry (eRTG) cranes, and Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co., Ltd of South Korea
to provide Ship to Shore (STS) container cranes.
• Site development work has already commenced with dredging 5 million cubic meters of sand
removed from the sea and used to level the land in the port area. This work was carried out by
Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors BV of The Netherlands. Drainage systems have
also been installed. Altogether, site development work has also included construction of a
2.5km irrigation channel and inner roads, transfer of existing communications lines, geodetic
surveying and waste removal.
Special Economic Zone to Provide Added Economic Benefits for Georgia
Anaklia City, the Special Economic Zone that would accompany the development of the seaport, would
be a thoroughly innovative city of outstanding urban design, featuring modern sea, rail and air links,
and considerable diverse employment opportunities in logistics light manufacturing, development,
healthcare and other sectors, with an emphasis on sustainability.
This is part of the long-term vision for Anaklia to be a new regional business centre with large-scale
logistics and industrial parks, a new City with a business and financial centre, education and healthcare
facilities, plus sport and recreational infrastructure, all of which will create thousands of new jobs in
Similar to the progress on the Deep Water Seaport, the consortium has also been progressing toward
development of the Anaklia City Special Economic Zone, including considerable interest expressed by
Japanese investors in relation to both projects. In 2019, the Japanese government allocated financial
and professional resources to complete certain studies and prepare a conceptual masterplan for
Anaklia City, prepared by the Japanese company Nippon Koei, funded by a grant from the Japanese
Ministry of Economy.
This work is still ongoing, and the Japanese partners would be eager to resume cooperation with ADC.
Anaklia City also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on strategic partnership with the Asian
Development Bank (ADB), promising to provide technical and financing support.
As Japan and other Western countries consider relocating their manufacturing from China, Georgia –
through the Deep Water Seaport and the Special Economic Zone – presents an attractive opportunity
to such countries and manufacturers.
To abandon these strategic opportunities would be a severe setback for Georgia.
Anaklia is the only suitable location if Georgia is to realize its full potential as a transport hub and a
transit corridor. The long-term commitments for the Anaklia Deep Seaport project and constant
upgrade of the port’s capacities is a sound signal to Georgia’s neighbours and partners, that the
country is a reliable and committed partner for the development of international transportation
Once the project is implemented, Anaklia will be an international transport and logistical hub and a
world-class business and cultural destination; establishing Georgia as a focal point between Asia and
Europe. The Anaklia Deep Water Seaport and the Anaklia City Special Economic Zone represent the
best opportunity for Georgia to achieve this great vision.