Tbilisi, Batumi, Poti are Georgia’s gateways to the world
The EBRD’s infrastructure investments in Georgia’s transport sector – such as the sea port in Poti and international airports in Tbilisi and Batumi - have helped open it up to the global economy, develop its tourism industry and strengthen its potential as a transit hub.
Poti is one of Georgia’s three main sea ports. It is also a key point on the way from the EU ports of Constanţa and Varna to the Caspian region and the whole of Central Asia.
In 2008, the port was privatised, and a free economic zone created around it. The following year, the EBRD lent the JSC Poti Sea Port Corporation US$ 8 million to transform one of the run-down berths for use as a container terminal.
Funds were used for dredging, paving and replacing part of the top end of the quay, and to purchase mobile harbour cranes, reach stackers and an empty container handler. The modernisation programme helped the port increase capacity.
International airports in Tbilisi and Batumi also benefited from EBRD financing of US$ 25.9 million to TAV Urban Georgia, the airports’ operator. In Tbilisi, a new international terminal and car park were constructed; the runway was upgraded, and equipment purchased. The financing package also paid for construction works and the modernisation of equipment and systems at Batumi airport.
Both projects, the modernisation of the Sea Port and the development of the airports in Tbilisi and Batumi, have attracted foreign investors to Georgia’s transport sector – from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Denmark and Turkey.
Thomas Maier, EBRD Managing Director for Infrastructure, said: “We work closely with clients to deliver real-world infrastructure solutions wherever they are – at the urban, regional and national levels.
“In Georgia, as elsewhere, we believe private investors should play a larger role in the sector to accelerate infrastructure investment, and we stand ready to work on new projects.”