Georgian port contract terminated

Anaklia Port Anaklia Port. Image Anaklia Development Consortium

The Georgian government is reportedly seeking a new investor for a port project in the county after the contract of the consortium originally contracted to the project was terminated.

Maia Tskitishvili, Georgia's minister of regional development and infrastructure, made the announcement about the state-owned deep water port development formerly managed by Anaklia Consortium at a news conference following a government session, reported Georgia Today.

"The Georgian government is looking for a new investor for the construction of the Anaklia deep-sea port,” said Ms Tskitishvili, adding that the government is keen to implement the project quickly.

Financial standstill

The Anaklia Development Consortium was due to fulfil the terms of its contract by 31 December, after the government postponed the term for reaching an agreement with potential investors, as well as international banks (EBRD, OPIC, ADB, AIIB) for a loan of US$400m.

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, according to Reuters.

Additionally, the consortium was expected to sign a contract with construction contractors. However, the Georgian government says the Anaklia Development Consortium failed to meet its obligations.

The Anaklia Consortium will have to pay an unspecified fine for failing to fulfil the contract and return the land received from the state and the deep-sea port project.

“All these procedures are set out in the contract and we will strictly follow the requirements of the contract,” Ms Tskitishvili said.

The future of the project looked uncertain last September, when one of the main partners in the consortium, US-based Conti Group, announced its decision to exit the project.

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