Irakli Garibashvili: Process will soon start for the selection of a new potential investor for the Anaklia Port Project

Published in Economics
Friday, 05 March 2021 12:54

Georgian authorities had always demonstrated unprecedented support towards the Anaklia Port Project. It was stated by Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia at the Executive Government Meeting today.

As noted by the Prime Minister of Georgia, irrespective of deferring deliverables at multiple occasions, investor failed to meet its commitments and therefore the process will soon start for the selection of a new potential investor.

"Authorities of Georgia, including the executive and legislative wings, demonstrated full support to the Anaklia Port Project. I wish to remind the society that Parliament of Georgia in its 9th Convocation indicated the Deep Sea Port of Anaklia as a key priority in the Constitution of Georgia. Principal and miscellaneous obligations of the investor were deferred at multiple occasions. Only the principal ones were deferred three times! Also, the Government acquired land from individual property owners in the total value of 58 million GEL and transferred the chain of custody to the investor. We also assumed the obligation to build a motorway and rail road to access the port. The Road Department of Georgia has blueprints ready for it. Besides, Partnership Fund was prepared to allocate a subordinated loan in the volume of 100 million USD to let the investor meet its obligations. Nevertheless, you may well be aware that the investor failed to meet its obligations and could not raise the required equity or borrowing in the volume of 400 million USD. We will be launching a process to select a new potential investor in the nearest future. Respective agency subordinated to the Ministry of Economy of Georgia will be announcing a tender in line with the procedures promulgated in the law. What is equally important, international consultants will be contracted to guide us in the selection process to identify the successful bidder" stated the Prime Minister of Georgia.

Press Service of the Government Administration

ANAKLIA DEVELOPMENT CONSORTIUM WELCOMES U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE POMPEO TO GEORGIA

Published in World
Friday, 13 November 2020 12:03

Perfect Opportunity to Reaffirm U.S. Government Support for Anaklia Port Project

TBILISI, GEORGIA, 13 November 2020 – The Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC) today issued the following statement in advance of the 17-18 November visit to Georgia by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo:

“The Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC) and its investors welcome the visit of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Georgia, and expect Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador Degnan will express to the Georgian Government their continued support for a port project at Anaklia.”

“It was just last year (11 June 2019) that Secretary Pompeo offered a strong endorsement of support for the Anaklia Project following his meeting with then-Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, when he told the press:

“I communicated our hope that Georgia completes the (Anaklia) port project. The project and others will enhance Georgia’s relationship with free economies and prevent Georgia from falling prey to Russian or Chinese economic influence. Those pretend friends do not have Georgia’s best interests at heart.”

The timing and purpose of Secretary Pompeo’s visit invites an examination of the Georgian Government’s purported commitment to seeing through the development of a world-class port at Anaklia. While this commitment was expressed directly to both Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador Degnan, recent developments show that the Georgian Government’s commitment to Anaklia was a hollow one.

“The Georgian Government’s duplicitous and unlawful actions in relation to the Anaklia project has caused considerable financial losses for its U.S., European and Georgian investors and unfortunately now led to international arbitration proceedings being commenced against Georgia, which create a considerable financial risk for the state and will serve to discourage foreign investment in Georgia at a time when Georgia most needs it.

“Beyond the Anaklia project, the actions of the current Government over the past year certainly raise questions about its commitment to implementing meaningful judicial and governance reforms, which are important for increasing foreign investment and strengthening the Georgian economy. 

“We wish Secretary Pompeo all success during his visit to Georgia and his meetings with the Government.”

 

Further details of the Anaklia Port project and ADC can be found at http://anakliadevelopment.com

HAS THE GEORGIAN GOVERNMENT REVEALED ITS TRUE INTENTIONS REGARDING ANAKLIA PORT?

Published in Economics
Tuesday, 27 October 2020 11:44

Government Actions and Words Appear to Show Its Support for Poti at the Expense of Anaklia and Raise Questions About Whether it has been Misleading Georgian Public as well as International Communities

TBILISI, GEORGIA, 27 October, 2020 – Recent actions and comments by the Georgian Government appear to have exposed its true intentions to promote Poti and to turn its back on Anaklia as the location of a future world-class seaport.  In the process, the Government has damaged its reputation in the global investment community by misleading investors and diplomats who were led to believe that the Government is still committed to a project at Anaklia.  By every measure, it appears the Government has no interest in such a project at Anaklia.

Government Puts Its Support Behind Poti at the Expense of Anaklia

As reported in the media on 18 October, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia said at a political event sponsored by Georgian Dream, "We have to agree and be honest with each other that there are many problems in Poti, but nevertheless, I want to tell you that the next 4 years will be the years of Poti reconstruction, specifically the years of Poti reconstruction. Because that is what necessary not only for Poti but the entire country.[1]

Separately, Davit Ebralidze, Chief Executive Officer of Poti Free Industrial Zone (FIZ) said in an interview with Georgia Today “Initially when thinking about location of new FIZ, the most significant location was chosen strategically, not only in Georgia but in the Black Sea and Caucasus Region. Poti FIZ is located in the centre of the Silk Road and international transport and logistics corridors. Its location is one of the distinctive advantages over other free industrial zones in the country…  The Poti Free Industrial Zone is one of the most strategic and successful companies within Smart Capital Group.”[2]  

Taken together, these comments suggest that the Government are now committing themselves to Poti as the future home of the long-anticipated deepwater seaport, contradicting prior statements from the Government.

The 23 October announcement by APM Terminals Poti (APMT) and Poti New Terminals Corporation (PNTC) that they have signed an agreement for the joint development of a new bulk cargo facility on the northern side of the Poti Sea Port reinforces the belief that the Government has been telling two conflicting stories: One that it is still committed to Anaklia; the second that it is focused solely in Poti.  PNTC’s website suggests their intent is to see “a new deep-water harbor (greenfield) for dry bulk and container handling north to the existing Poti Port.”[3]  In other words, an alternative to Anaklia.

The interests of Georgian Dream Supporters Intersect with those of Poti FIZ

Based on public records, there appears to be close financial interests between Poti FIZ and high-level people connected to Georgian Dream:

 

  • Poti Free Industrial Zone is managed by Euro-Asian Management Group, which is jointly owned by a subsidiary of the Chinese company CEFC and Eurasian Invest LLC. 
  • Both David Ebralidze and Ivane Chkhartishvili are on the Supervisory Board of Eurasian Invest, which itself is owned by two companies registered in the British Virgin Islands, where laws make it difficult to track who owns them.
  • Davit Ebralidze was previously Head of Administration for Georgian Co-Investment Fund, a fund set up by Georgian Dream leader and former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili to manage some of his personal investments.
  • Chkhartishvili is also co-chairman of Euro-Asian Management Group and owns Smart Capital Group which, as noted above, is involved with Poti FIZ.[4]  Chkhartishvili “has been connected to several corruption cases” according to Democracy and Freedom Watch[5]
  • George Bachiashvili, who served on the board of directors of Eurasian Invest and appears to be the sole director of one of the BVI companies behind Eurasian Invest. He previously served as CEO of Georgian Co-Investment Fund and has long been connected to Bidzina Ivanishvili as a financial advisor.

 

Government Admits That Anaklia is Unlikely

As further evidence that the Government has no interest in seeing a port developed at Anaklia, it included language in its proposed 2021 budget that would be certain to scare away any potential investors.  On pages 517-518 of the proposed budget is the following passage regarding the intended new tender for an Anaklia Port Project:  “Potential risks – as it currently stands, due to the potential arbitration dispute, an investor of high reputation and experience may not be selected. Also, other unforeseen circumstances.”[6]

Government Abandons Anaklia Site and Creates Health and Environmental Risks

The Government has also abandoned the site of the proposed Anaklia project after it unlawfully seized the land from ADC in February 2020.  While ADC had invested considerable resources to begin site preparation work, including clearing 110-hectare area where soil was removed and cleared of waste, the Government’s failure to maintain the site has led to significant and chronic circulation of dust and particulate emissions, causing damage to the environment as well as threatening nearby residents with potentially serious respiratory health problems. 

ADC had advised the Government of the need and means to mitigate these risks.  However, the Government has ignored this, causing problems for the people of the region and signaling its lack of any further interest in the site.

Statement from Anaklia Development Consortium

“The current Government has misled the people of Georgia and the international community about its intentions for Anaklia port. Since unlawfully terminating the investment agreement with ADC in January 2020, Government ministers have said multiple times that the Government will issue a new tender for a port project at Anaklia. Based on its actions, however, it seems the  Government has chosen to promote Poti and the related Free Industrial Zone, at the expense of the Anaklia Port. 

“Most troubling is the Government’s duplicity, which will only serve to discourage foreign investors who feel they cannot trust the Government, and Georgian citizens who fear that the scourge of corruption will once again tarnish Georgia’s reputation and undermine their trust in the Government.  One has to question whether the Government is acting in the best interests of the people of Georgia.  Regardless of its motives, however, it certainly appears the Government is not being honest about its intentions with Anaklia.”

Why Poti Cannot be an Adequate Alternative to Anaklia

The Government’s initial decision to develop Anaklia was taken in 2013 after the Government hired a consortium of international consultants to compare and contrast the options in Georgia for a deep sea port. Anaklia was chosen because it held a number of advantages over every other location in Georgia, including the geo-technical conditions of the site, its financial feasibility and most importantly, the significant economic, social and geopolitical impact the project would have both on the Abkhazia region and the wider country.

The consultants’ report clearly outlined that the existing ports in Georgia (including Poti) are limited in their capacities and hinterland connections, and any expansion would have only short-term impact for the national maritime sector. The consultants advised the Government of Georgia to consider the development of the greenfield and large-scale deep sea port at Anaklia to ensure long term advantages for the country and phased capacity developments to serve Georgia’s needs in long-term perspective.

The existing port in Poti has numerous disadvantages and is not suitable for expansion, and the proposed new site at Poti is equally flawed, as explained by ADC.[7]

Further details of the Anaklia Port project and ADC can be found at http://anakliadevelopment.com



[1] http://newsreport.ge/შემდგომი-4-წელი-იქნება-კონ/?fbclid=IwAR1AtLz_0LUPH6-rpI6mL3jDqulgERnq9WyNFyosCQYlUZalo0uIqyrsHQ0

[2] http://georgiatoday.ge/news/22687/Poti-FIZ-CEO-on-the-Benefits-of-World-Free-Zone-Organization-Membership

[3] https://pntc.ge

[4] http://smartcapital.ge

[6] The full set of documents submitted by the Government to the Parliament of Georgia together with the draft Law on 2021 State Budget are available at:

http://parliament.ge/ge/ajax/downloadFile/142460/07-2.525_ბიუჯეტი_2021

[7] http://anakliadevelopment.com/news/port-of-poti-is-an-inadequate-substitute-for-anaklia-deep-sea-port/

GEORGIAN GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBLE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH RISKS AT ANAKLIA PORT SITE

Published in Economics
Thursday, 15 October 2020 17:22

Government Has Neglected Management of Site After Unlawfully Seizing The Property

TBILISI, GEORGIA, 15 October, 2020 – Residents of Anaklia and the surrounding area face health and environmental risks due to the Georgian Government’s neglect of the site intended for the now-suspended Anaklia Deepwater Sea Port, according to the Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC), the company originally selected by the Government of Georgia to develop the strategic Anaklia Port Project.

As part of its project development efforts, ADC prepared a  comprehensive Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) in accordance with policies of the International Financial Institutions (EBRD, ADB, AIIB, OPIC), which included rigorous environmental and social protection steps that satisfied not only all Georgian legal requirements, but also best international standards.

In 2018 ADC carried out considerable site preparation work, including a 110-hectare area where soil was removed and cleared of waste, including old structures. ADC received all necessary permits and authorizations from the Government prior to commencing this work.

Even though it was becoming apparent in 2019 that the Government was actively trying to prevent the Anaklia Project from proceeding, ADC  persevered in making every effort to continue project construction while protecting the environment from dust emissions.  In fact, ADC had prepared for Government approval a thorough plan for managing this issue, with the cost to be carried by ADC.

The Government unlawfully seized possession of the site in February 2020 following its wrongful termination of the investment agreement with ADC.  Because of this expropriation, ADC was prohibited from further access to the site and thus was never able to carry out the plan it had designed.  Sole responsibility for managing the property transferred to the Government.

However, left barren, the site is now generating considerable volumes of dust, causing damage to the environment as well as threatening nearby residents with potentially serious respiratory health problems.  Even though the Government understood the steps it should take to manage these environmental and health risks, it took no action, leading to the situation which exists today.

“The Government of Georgia has been acting recklessly and irresponsibly by unlawfully terminating the investment agreement and ignoring the very real health and environmental problems it created when it failed to follow the plans that ADC had proposed for managing  this site or taking any other remediation actions,” according to a statement from ADC.  “The Government is putting peoples’ health at risk and harming the environment by allowing this site to deteriorate.  ADC calls upon the Government to act immediately in the interest of the people of the region. By neglecting to manage this property and failing to assume responsibility for the health and environmental harm it is creating, it would appear the Government has no interest in any future development of a modern port at Anaklia, belying the many promises it has made. The Government is walking away from its responsibilities.”

Further details of the Anaklia Port project and ADC can be found at http://anakliadevelopment.com

Anaklia Development Consortium Statement Regarding Government’s Own Admission That Any New Port Tender will Likely Fail

Published in Economics
Thursday, 08 October 2020 16:44

TBILISI, GEORGIA, 8 October, 2020 – The Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC), the company originally
selected by the Government of Georgia to develop the strategic Anaklia Port Project, today issued the
following statement regarding the 2021 State Budget: 

“In the proposed 2021 State Budget, the Georgian Government admits that a new port tender is unlikely  to succeed. This is because no credible investor is likely to participate in circumstances where arbitration  claims are ongoing about the Government's treatment of ADC and international investor Mr. Bob Meijer.  Hidden on pages 517‐5181 of the proposed budget is the following passage regarding the intended new  tender for an Anaklia Port Project:  “შესაძლო  რისკები  ‐  არსებულ მოცემულობის ფარგლებში,  შესაძლო საარბიტრაჟო დავის გამო, შესაძლებელია ვერ შეირჩეს მაღალირეპუტაციისა და გამოცდილების ინვესტორი. ასევე სხვა გაუთვალისწინებელი გარემოებები”  (“Potential  risks – as  it  currently  stands,  due  to  the  potential  arbitration  dispute,  an  investor  of  high  reputation and experience may not be selected. Also, other unforeseen circumstances.”)  This  declaration  acknowledged  that  the  existing  arbitration  is  a  substantial  obstacle for  the  Georgian  Government’s plans and any hoped‐for deep‐water port project at Anaklia.  As the arbitration arises out  of  the government’s own misconduct, it has only itself  to blame for undermining  this vital project for  Georgia’s future growth and development.  1 The full set of documents submitted by the Government to the Parliament of Georgia together with the draft  Law on 2021 State Budget are available at:   http://parliament.ge/ge/ajax/downloadFile/142460/07‐2.525_ბიუჯეტი_2021_    Anaklia Development Consortium  6 Marjanishvili Street  Tbilisi 0102, Georgia  +995 32 2 95 99 10  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   http:/anakliadevelopment.com  2 By  its  own admission  the Government  does  not  believe any  legitimate  bidders will emerge for a  port  project at Anaklia, condemning any hope that Georgia will see the jobs and economic growth that would  come with  such  a  strategic  project.  All  the  blame for  this  situation  rests  at  the feet  of  the  Georgian  Government.  Not only will Georgia not see a new port project at Anaklia any time into the future,  the likely outcome is  negative  decisions  by  respected  international  arbitration  tribunals  against  the  Government,  thereby  creating the obligation to pay substantial damages and also creating economic risk for the country given  the damage the government will have caused to Georgia’s standing with international investors.  The investors of the Anaklia Development Consortium remain ready to restart this project, inviting new  investors and partners so that Georgia can realize the riches this project offers.  All that is necessary is for  Georgian Dream and this Government to put aside personal interests and act in the best interest of the  people of Georgia.”  Further details of the Anaklia Port project and ADC can be found at http://anakliadevelopment.com 

DETAILS RELEASED OF GEORGIAN GOVERNMENT’S CAMPAIGN TO STRANGLE ANAKLIA PORT PROJECT

Published in Economics
Wednesday, 09 September 2020 15:40

Ruling Georgian Dream Party Reversed its Support for Vital Project,

Wiping Out Economic Benefits for Georgia

TBILISI, GEORGIA, 9 September, 2020 – The Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC), the company originally selected by the Government of Georgia to develop the strategic Anaklia Port Project, today shared additional details of the Government’s campaign, directed by the ruling Georgian Dream party, to undermine the project by dissuading potential project investors, lenders, contractors and suppliers from joining the project in order to kill it.

The following statement is issued on behalf of the ADC Supervisory Board:

All infrastructure projects of such scale require government support; namely the encouragement of lenders and investors, the assistance in permitting, regulatory approvals and a favorable tax regime, and providing any ancillary support; in this instance, the provision of land and the construction of road and rail infrastructure.  For a government to actually oppose an infrastructure project that it had itself approved is highly unusual in the global economy. 

“The Georgian Government’s campaign to strangle ADC’s ability to develop the Anaklia Port Project represents a self-inflicted wound for itself and considerable injury to Georgia’s economy and its role in the region.

“Taken together, the Georgian Government's specific actions are part of a deliberate and well-orchestrated campaign to destroy a project which the Government itself originally sponsored and endorsed, but subsequently chose to destroy as a result of what appear to be the political and economic self-interests of the Georgian Dream Party and its principals.

“The Government manufactured all sorts of excuses for not wanting to see various investors, lenders and partners involved in the project, but the Government really only had one purpose:  to choke the project to death by scaring away everybody who might have an interest in supporting it.

“Also, is it beyond coincidence that government ministers – including two Prime Ministers -- who voiced support for the project or otherwise expressed concern about the growing controversy with the project were tendering their resignations shortly after such comments were made?  

“The damage to Georgia caused by the Government goes well beyond the potential loss of the Anaklia Port and the associated Special Economic Zone.  The conduct of the Government is scaring away investors at a time when Georgia cannot afford to lose any more foreign investment.  According to the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the amount of foreign direct investment in Georgia has fallen from nearly US$  2 billion in 2017 to just over US$ 1.3 billion in 2019, and in the first quarter of 2020, stood at only US$ 171.8 million[1] - a catastrophic decrease even before the Covid crisis began to take effect.  As Retired U.S. Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges of the Center for European Policy Analysis said, ‘the government only has itself to blame.’[2]

Some examples of the Government’s efforts to strangle ADC and the Anaklia Port Project include:

November, 2017

  • Georgian Dream party leader Bidzina Ivanishvili requested to meet with ADC to discuss the Anaklia Port Project and asserted that the expansion of Poti Port could achieve the same objectives of the Anaklia Port at a far lower cost. 

June 2018

  • During a June 12 meeting of the Georgian Dream party, attended by more than 100 party officials, Party Leader Bidzina Ivanishvili personally blamed Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili for his actions in support of the Anaklia project and for having close ties to ADC investor Mamuka Khazaradze.  Mr. Kvirikashvili resigned the day after that meeting.

October 2018

  • In February 2019 ADC learned that during an October 2018 meeting with senior U.S. State Department officials in Tbilisi, Mr. Giorgi Gakharia  (then Minister of Interior) advised the U.S. officials that the Anaklia Port project was not in Georgia’s interests.

January 2019

  • SSA Marine, which was selected as the Anaklia Port operator and was a potential investor, alerted ADC of its concerns about what seemed to be the Government’s support of an expansion of the Poti Port.  (Following detailed studies sponsored by the Government back in 2013-14, it had been determined that Poti Port could never meet Georgia’s needs for a Deepwater Port, which is why the government itself selected Anaklia for development at that time.  The Government’s subsequent expressions of support for expansion at Poti was a clear signal to the lending and investment community that the Government was no longer supportive of Anaklia.)

February 2019

  • A sovereign European development bank advised ADC that it had decided against supporting the project because of the negative actions of the Georgian Government, and the possible shift of support to the Poti Port.

February 2019

  • Another sovereign European development bank advised ADC that it was withdrawing its support because one of its counterparts had just done so (above) due to the state’s apparent shift of support from Anaklia to Poti.

March 2019

  • It has been reported that Infrastructure Minister Maya Tskitishvili, in ministerial hearings before Parliament, undermined SSA Marine as a potential investor and as the port operator, claiming the company lacked experience and financial capacity.  These assertions were not true. In the process of her speech, the minister also breached legal obligations of confidentiality that were associated with the investment agreement.

April 2019

  • SSA Marine advised ADC that it was suspending its activities related to the Anaklia Port project.

April 2019

  • Mr. Giorgi Kobulia, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, told “Forbes Week” that the negative public discussions and media reports of the Anaklia project were having a negative impact on the business climate within Georgia.  He subsequently resigned within days of the interview.

May 2019

  • A major U.S. private equity firm which was in advanced negotiations with ADC to join the project revealed to ADC that Government officials warned the firm to stay away from the project.

June 2019

  • Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, in a trade visit to the U.S., met separately with SSA Marine, the leadership of the U.S. private equity firm that were interested in investing in the project, and with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, D.C.  Secretary Pompeo expressed support for the Anaklia project with the prime minister standing next to him, saying it would “strengthen Georgia’s ties with free economies and not allow Georgia to be under the economic influence of Russia or China.”  Upon his return to Georgia, Mr. Bakhtadze resigned, and this again put the project in unchartered waters.

September 2019

  • At a meeting in Tbilisi, a large Hong Kong-based private equity group with significant Central Asian transportation synergies that was considering joining the project was told bluntly by Infrastructure Minister Tskitishvili that the Government did not desire their participation in the project.  At this same meeting Ms. Tskitishvili reaffirmed the Government’s seeming opposition to SSA Marine’s involvement in the project.

September 2019

  • Giorgi Volski, Vice Speaker of Parliament, falsely claimed that the Hong Kong private equity group mentioned above is a “Russian” company,  with the intention either of disparaging it or sowing further confusion about the government's position in respect of the project.

September 2019

  • In a meeting between Prime Minister Gakharia and an Anaklia Supervisory Board member, Mr. Gakharia stated that “things had to get quiet” before he could reassure the major potential U.S. investor of the state’s support for the Anaklia Project, which the board member understood to be a condition that ADC and Mr. Khazaradze stop criticizing the government publicly on its opposition to the Anaklia Project, and the government would stop criticizing ADC.  
  • Also, the Supervisory Board was promised a letter of support to a U.S. investor from the highest levels of the Government, but this never materialized, even though ADC did comply with the Government’s request.

September 2019

  • A delegation from the U.S. (in Tbilisi to participate in the 5th annual Tbilisi International Conference sponsored by the McCain Institute) met with new Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, and subsequently with Mamuka Khazaradze.  Representatives of the delegation told Mr. Khazaradze that Prime Minister Gakharia told them the Anaklia project was not commercially viable when this was patently not the case.

October 2019:

  • Fadi Asly, chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce in Georgia, is quoted in the media saying, “No one will invest in Anaklia project as long as Bidzina Ivanishvili wants to destroy it.”

Taken together, these are only a selection of the instances where the Government of Georgia actively undermined the project in an effort to prevent ADC from developing the project.  ADC intends to present evidence during the upcoming arbitration proceedings to demonstrate the degree to which the Government took such steps.

Further details of the Anaklia Port project and ADC can be found at http://anakliadevelopment.com

 

ANAKLIA DEVELOPMENT CONSORTIUM AND PRINCIPAL INTERNATIONAL INVESTOR FILE ARBITRATION CLAIMS AGAINST GEORGIA

Published in Economics
Thursday, 30 July 2020 13:44

Claims Seek Substantial Damages Caused by Government’s Campaign to Undermine Port Project
that would have created Economic Prosperity for Georgia
TBILISI, GEORGIA, 30 July, 2020 – The Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC) and Mr. Bob Meijer, one of its
principal investors, on 29 July filed separate arbitration claims against Georgia in relation to their rights in the
Anaklia Port Project. Together the two claims seek to recover the value of ADC's and Mr. Meijer’s rights in the
Project. The value of those rights is substantial, in excess of US$ 1.0 billion, representing ADC's and Mr. Meijer's
losses directly resulting from the Georgian Government’s campaign to undermine the Anaklia Port Project.
ADC was awarded the Anaklia Port Project in 2016. The Project (together with an associated Special Economic
Zone) is intended to make Georgia a strategic hub for regional trade between Asia and Europe, creating
thousands of jobs and generating substantial taxes and revenue for the government, and revitalize the Georgian
economy at a time when the nation most needs an economic boost. There is no other port facility or location
along the Black Sea in Georgia other than Anaklia that is capable of fulfilling the economic promise of a worldclass deep water port.
The Anaklia Development Consortium, which was established to develop the Anaklia Port Project, is comprised
of both Georgian and international investors. ADC is bringing its claim in the International Court of Arbitration
of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Mr. Meijer, a prominent Dutch businessman with a long
record of successful investments in Georgia and worldwide, is bringing his claim in the International Centre for
Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), under the Georgia-Netherlands Bilateral Investment Treaty.
Following a two-year campaign by the current Government and the ruling Georgian Dream Party to block ADC’s
efforts to succeed with the Project, in January 2020 the Government unlawfully terminated the agreement and,
in the process, caused ADC and it investors to lose the full sum of their investments, denying them future profits
and causing them to be damaged financially and reputationally.
Even though the Government had originally awarded ADC the sole right to develop the Project following a
competitive and transparent selection process, and even though it was understood that Government support
was necessary for the success of the Project in order to enable ADC to attract international investors and
financing, in fact the Government changed course and undertook an overt and covert campaign to ensure the
Project could never succeed.
Representatives of the Government on numerous occasions criticized the Project and its shareholders, publicly
and in private meetings, telling potential investors and lenders that the Government did not wish them to
Anaklia Development Consortium.
participate, and making clear to U.S. government officials that the Project did not have the support of the
Georgian government. This aggressive campaign against the Anaklia Port Project by the Government caused
great damage to ADC and its investors.
Among the illegal and unethical actions of the Government and the Georgian Dream party was the launching of
a baseless money laundering criminal investigation against Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze, two
prominent and successful Georgia businessmen who are principal investors in the Project. The intention of the
slanderous allegations against Messrs. Khazaradze and Japaridze was to discourage any investors or lenders
from supporting the Project. Such support was necessary for the Project to proceed. Unfortunately the
Government’s campaign succeeded, insofar as investors and lenders withdrew their interest and declined to
participate in the Project without a clear statement of support by the Georgian Government. Both the Public
Defender of Georgia and Transparency International Georgia subsequently found that the charges against
Messrs. Khazaradze and Japaridze were without merit.
The following statement from ADC reflects the views of ADC and Mr. Meijer:
“The investors of the Anaklia Development Consortium continue to believe firmly that the Anaklia Port
Project and Special Economic Zone should be allowed to proceed, and that the Project will create
unequalled economic opportunity for Georgia. However, that success can only come with the active
support of the Government, and we remain committed to finding a way to get this Project back on track.
“In the meantime, ADC and its investors must protect their interests. While we have made every effort
to engage with the Government to explore possible solutions, we have been rebuffed at every step.
“In a patriotic gesture, ADC paused in its filing of these claims during the height of the Covid-19
pandemic, so as not to burden the Government with any distractions as it fought to protect Georgians.
“Regrettably, the Government is forcing this decision to commence arbitration, and the Government
must bear the responsibility for its consequences.
“The Government would have everyone believe that it terminated the investment agreement because
ADC failed to meet certain obligations under the contract. In reality, the Government deliberately acted
to ensure that ADC could not succeed with Project development. In this instance the Government abused
its power because the ruling party and its leader decided the Project’s success was contrary to their own
political and economic interests. In the process, the people of Georgia are victimized by the
Government’s conduct.
“The reversal of the Government’s support for the Anaklia Port Project and ADC, and its aggressive
campaign to undermine the Project, ADC and its investors (driven at the behest of the Georgian Dream
party and its leader, Bidzina Ivanishvili) seem to be driven by several motives but there are two obvious
ones. First, it would appear that Mr. Ivanishvili may have a vested interest in the development of the
free industrial zone connected to Poti Port. Second, it would seem that Mr. Ivanishvili and Georgian
Dream are sensitive to pressure from Russia, which has made clear its opposition to a deep water port at
Anaklia (which is very close to the de facto border with Russian-occupied Abkhazia) and the western
support that would come with it.
“By its campaign to undermine the Anaklia Port Project and force it into arbitration, the Government is
damaging the Georgian economy. Beyond the matter of foregoing the economic benefits that the
Anaklia Port and economic zone would generate or the unnecessary considerable financial liability, the
Government is in effect discouraging international investors from pursuing any investments in
Georgia, facilitating the further loss of jobs and revenues by the country and stalling the momentum for
placing Georgia on the map as a regional trade hub between Asia and Western Europe.
“Finally, the manner in which the Government has conducted itself in its attacks on ADC, its investors
and the Project itself could be in violation of one of the conditions of the proposed U.S. government aid
to Georgia, under which 15% of the aid is withheld until the U.S. Secretary of State can affirm that the
Government of Georgia has been, according to the legislation, ‘protecting the rights of foreign
businesses to operate free from harassment and to fully realize all due commercial and financial benefits
resulting from investments made in Georgia.’
“The responsibility for these consequences rests solely with the current Government and the ruling
party.”
NOTE: ADC and Mr. Meijer are represented by a team led by Mr. Andy Moody at Baker McKenzie in London and
Ms. Ketevan Kvartskhava at BLC in Tbilisi.
Further details can be found at http://anakliadevelopment.com

Signing ceremony was held between Anaklia Development Consortium and Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries

Published in Economics
Friday, 22 March 2019 11:15

On March 21 at 14:00, signing ceremony was held between Anaklia Development Consortium and Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries. Levan Akhvlediani, General Director of Anaklia Development Consortium and Jung Hao Yo, Vice President of Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries, signed the Memorandum of Cooperation.

The largest Korean company, Anaklia Development Consortium, has identified the modern tailor's service as an international tender and will install giant cranes for the Anaklia deep-powered port, the shipbuilding company HSHI in the world's top five.

The tender was held for several months and it was coordinated by the Consortium partner companies - Container Terminal Operator SSA Marine and detailed project author BergerABAM. At the final stage of the tender, 4 leading international companies participated, including Finland, Korea, and China.

HSHI is the fourth largest shipbuilding company in the world, producing around 40 ships a year. Its products include ships, tankers, container vessels, dry bulk cargo and other types of ships, as well as other techniques related to the harbinger, including modern cranes built by the latest technologies. The annual turnover of the company is $ 400 billion.
One crane installed at Anaklia Port Container Terminal will be 37 times heavier than the "Boing 737". The port of the port should consist of 16 units of porting crane. It is planned to install modern technologies, so-called STS-shore cranes, which are the first time in Georgian ports. STS type cranes operate in such powerful ports as Singapore, Shanghai, Rotterdam and other leading ports of the world.

"Hyundai Samho Heavy Industry is the world's leading company. It will carry out an unprecedented and massive work in the port and install giant cranes for the latest technology. His partnership is important for us as well as a great shipbuilding company that arrives in the country and its products contain great container vessels, tanks and different types of ships. We plan to cooperate in this direction in future, "said Levan Akhvlediani, Director General of" Anaklia Development Consortium ".

Construction of the Anaklia Deepwater Port in December 2017, and large-scale marine operations began on September 16, 2018. At the first stage of the works, the largest depth of the ship "Athena" took 5 million cubic meters of sand from the bottom of the sea. Overall, in the first phase construction process, the investment value of which is $ 600 million, together with foreign specialists, local population, and construction and engineering companies are involved. The opening of the first phase of the port and the ships are planned from the end of 2020.

SSA Marine to Become Anaklia Port’s Operator and Investor

Published in Economics
Thursday, 03 August 2017 10:56

SSA Marine, one of the largest American companies, will become the operator of Anaklia Port Terminal and one of its investors, a relevant agreement was signed today at the Administration of the Government of Georgia.
 
The signing ceremony was attended by Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.
Along with the Conti Group, SSA Marine is the second American giant to invest heavily in the development of the Anaklia Port.

SSA Marine, one of the largest global operators, runs over 250 strategic terminals in five continents and serves 27.2 million containers (TEU) annually. SSA Marine introduces modern innovative technology standards in design, operating, and project development.
Before the signing ceremony, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili held a meeting with SSA Marine's Vice President Robert Watters and the founders of the Anaklia Development Consortium. The parties discussed Anaklia Port-related issues, Georgia-US economic partnership, and Georgia's attractive investment environment.

The Prime Minister emphasized the US Vice President's visit and the importance of America's support for Georgia.
"Very important is the visit of the Vice President of the United States, and Georgia is grateful for the vitally important support of the US. We all heard the strongest messages of the US support for Georgia, which is another reassurance, another guarantee for the success of US-Georgia economic cooperation. We are really committed to bringing more economic substance to our bilateral strategic cooperation, and this is not another but one of the most important evidence of this excellent cooperation," the Prime Minister stated during the meeting.
Robert Watters thanked the Head of Georgian Government for his support since the very outset.

The Anaklia Deep Sea Port Project launched in 2016. The Anaklia Development Consortium developed the Anaklia Port's master plan and preliminary design, also conducting over 50 terrain, water and environment, and engineering analyses for different directions of construction. Work is already underway on a strategy for the development of the city of Anaklia and the special economic zone.
Construction work on the Anaklia Port is expected to launch in the second half of 2017.

President of Georgia continues meetings with the youth

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 15:02

In the frames of the campaign Your Voice is Your Future, the President of Georgia continues meetings with the youth in the regions.
Giorgi Margvelashvili visited Anaklia Future Camp and discussed the territorial sovereignty of Georgia. He highlighted the importance of the European and Euro Atlantic integration way of Georgia.
“We can see our own land from here. It is occupied by Russia and We will return it,”-Giorgi Margvelashvili said. According to him, only strengthening Georgian Society can give this land us back.

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