Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC) has appointed US-based SSA Marine to operate the container terminal at its planned deep-sea port in Anaklia, located on Georgia's Black Sea coast.
The agreement will see SSA Marine operate the terminal for the next 20 years and act as an equity investor for ADC.
The deal is also expected to enhance US involvement in the Anaklia port project.
Georgia’s Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development selected ADC to build and develop the Anaklia deep sea port in February last year. The consortium includes Georgia's TBC Holding and US-based Conti International.
The $3.7bn port development is expected to establish a new maritime corridor between China and Europe, helping restore the Silk Road pathway and boosting national and regional economic growth.
Construction is scheduled to commence before the end of the year, with the port's phase one expected to begin operations by 2020-2021.
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Georgi Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said: “Our goal is to create the best platform for US business interests in the region, and the involvement of US companies in large regional infrastructural projects is very important.
“Together with involvement of the Conti Group in the consortium to develop and construct the deep sea port in Anaklia, we are also glad that an agreement will be signed with leading world class US port operator SSA Marine to operate the container terminal and invest in the most important project in Georgia.
“This fact once more outlines the increasing interest of US business in Georgia and the huge potential of our country to become a regional hub.”
SSA Marine is currently involved in more than 250 strategic operations across five continents, servicing 27.2 million twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) containers and managing terminals in nine countries worldwide.