New multimodal terminal in Poti starts construction
A new multimodal terminal in the port of Poti area, Georgia, enters the construction phase. The project which requires an investment between fifteen to twenty million US dollars, will be carried out jointly by Kazakhstan and Georgia with a designed maximum capacity of 450,000 TEU annually. The new terminal could further digest the transport demand in the Middle Corridor.
Last June, PTC Holding, a transport and logistics investment group from Kazakhstan with an overarching investment focus in Central Asia, and Georgian partners established the ‘JSC Poti Transterminal’ joint venture with the responsibility to build the terminal, stretching an area of 8 hectares. The partners share an even split in the joint venture.
According to the plan, the terminal will finish the first stage of construction in the first quarter of 2024. By then, it could attract and process 80,000 TEU in the Middle Corridor yearly, according to Timur Karabaev, head of PTC Holding, one of the companies investing in the new terminal.
Kazakhstan in Georgia
“The construction of the port terminal will be the first Kazakh infrastructure project to be implemented in Poti, which is extremely important for Kazakh enterprises in the current geopolitical situation in the world, as well as for diversification of logistics routes,” added Karabaev. Kazakhstan’s investment in Georgia is targeted, since the country acknowledges that to enhance its rail logistics hub position its should also help its partnering countries grow.
“Kazakhstan should become a transit hub for the transportation of goods from China to EU countries and back. Such projects will contribute to this. Kazakhstan will have its own terminal in Georgia and this is a continuation of Kazakhstan’s policy for the development of the Middle Corridor,” said Marat Karabaev, Kazakhstan’s Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development emphasised.
Growing Middle Corridor
A new terminal brings hope to stretch the capacity of the Middle Corridor. The corridor has increased from 25,2 thousand TEU in 2021 to 33,6 TEU in 2022, with an ambition to upscale to 52,9 thousand TEU in 2023. If the expectation meets reality, the Middle Corridor will grow twice the size in just two years. This new reality could be good news for anyone active in transporting goods anywhere between China and Europe. However, just one new terminal could not solve the problem in this corridor for all. The lack of vessels and barges in the Black and Caspian Sea, insurance, and customs clearance are all issues still waiting to be resolved.