Dutch-headquartered container terminal operator APM Terminals is proceeding with its plans to develop Georgia’s Poti Seaport into a mega-hub for the Caucasus and Central Asia region, APM Terminals Poti Deputy Managing Director Joseph Crowley said during the 4th Annual Black Sea Ports and Shipping Conference 2015.
With the completion of the Inland Container Terminal last year, APM Terminals has taken the first step towards executing this large scale port expansion.
The next phase of the expansion plan, with projected completion in 2018, includes two new deep water berths able accommodate vessels of 9,000 TEU capacity and an annual throughput capacity of one million TEUs.
The planned new quay to be constructed in front of the existing Inland Container Terminal, will enable full integration of the terminal yard, road and rail infrastructure into the expanded deep-water Mega-Port facility.
At completion, the fully built-out mega-port will have an annual cargo throughput capacity of 50 million tons and 2 million TEUs. With a water depth of up to 16 meters the port will be able to accommodate the largest vessels calling the Black Sea.
”While recent World Bank economic growth forecasts for the broader Caucasus region have been reduced, APM Terminals is committed to our ongoing investment in Poti Seaport to anticipate and satisfy the future demand potential,” said Crowley.
”This infrastructure investment into the port will help make future gateway volume growth possible, a major factor in Georgia’s growing presence as a global trading partner.”
Since assuming operations, APM Terminals has invested over USD 70 million upgrading the Port of Poti’s infrastructure and service facilities, including the construction of new Customs Center, as well as new rail and truck facilities.
A grain processing terminal with potential of 500,000 ton annual capacity was opened in May 2013, opening an alternate route for Central Asian wheat exports to the Black Sea and Mediterranean regions.
In 2014, total container throughput of Georgian ports was approximately 480,000 TEUs, with Poti’s container volume 80% of this total, or 385,000 TEUs.
In 2015, the current Poti Seaport is expected to handle over 8 million tons of cargo and 400,000 TEUs, with more than 1,300 vessel calls.