APM Terminals Poti has completed a comprehensive engineering study to prepare the port master plan for the future needs of Georgia and the hinterland countries, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The study was triggered by the rapid increase of container throughput which will exceed port capacity by 2017. In 2013, total container throughput in Georgia was 405,000 TEU of which Poti handled 82%. The present capacity of Poti seaport is 600,000 TEU.
“Larger vessels are entering the trades, reshaping markets and challenging port infrastructure. We believe the ability to attract larger vessels to our port through a deeper water depth and easier entrance channel will lower transportation costs for importers and exporters while improving the flexibility of Georgia and Central Asia supply chains. As the operator of Georgia’s largest and most important port, we want to ensure our future infrastructure plans reflect the best engineering and economic scenarios for the market”, commented Steen Davidsen, Managing Director, APM Terminals Poti.
Georgia’s geographic location connects several high growth economic regions, offering shippers a competitive location advantage as a transit hub strategically located between Europe and Central Asia. Of importance, Georgia is the shortest transit link for the transportation of raw materials, goods, gas and oil from Azerbaijan and Central Asia to the West. And, serves as a north-south transportation crossroads between Russia and Turkey, and via Armenia, to Iran. Average growth figures the last five years are 15-20% per year, far higher than GDP rates, reflecting Georgia and hinterland markets increasing containerization trend.
“Poti has an ideal port location and we look forward to working with the Georgian government to ensure the country’s flagship port is constantly improving the economy and attracting future investment. As a global port operator, we have the expertise to execute port upgrades quickly to launch a new era of Georgian port infrastructure suited to the future generation of ships,” added Davidsen.
In phase 1, which can be completed by 2017, the new port will comprise two deepwater berths able to handle vessels in excess of 9,000 TEU with modern ship to shore cranes and a capacity of 1 million TEU.