“If all the parties, namely banks, investors, consortium, state etc., agree to, then the Anaklia port project would be postponed, and the reasons why would be pointed out the disagreements unsolved. Therefore, the port would not be constructed”, stated the founder of TBC-Bank Mamuka Khazaradze having announced lately a political party creation.
Further on, he noted that on 15th October the consortium must submit to the state the information on the progress of talks regarding investors’ attraction.
“All the decisions necessary to begin building the port should be taken within the next two months. If this fails, the construction is going to be postponed for an indefinite term”, declared he.
According to him, the consortium for the port’s construction does not intend to disband even in case the situation goes under the negative scenario.
“We shall continue our struggle until the Anaklia project shuts down totally and completely, since we have met all our obligations, moreover within the time as stipulated by the agreement with the state. Everything is in place– and it has been so throughout the year – that the authorities are searching for an excuse to stop the venture. Hence any statement by the state that they support the port construction and that another tender will be announced – all of that is done with the purpose to postpone the project’s implementation”, went on Mr Khazaradze. As per his words, an active part on the public side is played in this matter by Minister of Infrastructure Maya Tskitishvili.
“Recently potential investors, an English company, international fund Meridian visited Tbilisi. They met with Minister of Infrastructure who said in the clear that such investors were of no need”, stated the banker. He further maintained that two large investors, American and British, had to abandon the project’s funding by the initiative of a major Georgian official.
“I don’t know what particular companies were talked about, the Americans told me about it but haven’t specified the companies’ names. Our Government was warned twice – first time even before the statement by Secretary of State Pompeo, second time after, when they said about the green light to the project continuation. In August we were awaiting for a paper on the inner auditing completion, as the investors received the Government’s instruction to halt the activities”.
Further on Mamuka Khazaradze said that the current Prime Minister Georgi Gakharia had been against the Anaklia venture as the then Minister of Economy, and repeatedly voiced his opinion that there was no economic grounds of the Anaklia deal, and international banks would never fund it.
Notwithstanding the above, in about a week Vice President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Jürgen Rigterink announced that “we are ready to get engaged in the process of Anaklia port construction in case there is a commercially beneficial solution”. He said he had already met the Georgian Prime Minister Georgi Gakharia and discussed that project inter alii.
“I paid a visit to Armenia, met businessmen and the Government delegates, and even they are very interested in the Anaklia project. It is very significant not only for Georgia, but for the entire region”, stated he. He further admitted being unable so far to speak in detail on the form of the EBRD involvement as there was still no clarity as to what decision to be taken by the Government and investors.
It is commonly known that the final decision regarding the project’s investment is to be taken by 15 October. In case the investors refuse to further fund the construction, a new tender conducted by the state is not unlikely.
Besides that, within the same term Anaklia Development Consortium should find a substitute for the American company Conti having taken part in the venture from the first day though lately declared its exit from ADC.