Aiming for an economic boost as part of China’s anticipated Silk Road corridor to Europe, the republic of Georgia has picked a local-U.S. joint venture, backed by global investors, to develop a $2.5-billion deep-sea port at Anaklia on the Black Sea. The team, which includes New Jersey-based Conti Enterprises and California-based designer Moffatt & Nichol, won the contract over China-owned finalist Power Construction Corp. Others that were short-listed included an AECOM-United Arab Emirates team as well as China’s China Harbor Engineering Co., France’s Bouygues and Japan’s Mitsui.
Construction of the 400-hectare port by the winning team, which includes Georgia financial firm TBC Holding, is set to start by year-end and finish in three years. The consortium has site use rights for 49 years and can develop a tax-free industrial zone on 600 adjacent hectares. Georgia’s government will invest $100 million in the project. The project is set to create up to 3,400 construction jobs and add capacity to process, initially, 7 million tons of cargo annually and more than 40 million in 12 years, the team claims. Ports in Georgia cannot now handle Panamax-sized vessels. Developers say the port will raise Georgia’s GDP by 0.5% by 2025.