Poti, Georgia (PortSEurope) August 14, 2023 – In October, Kazakhstan’s transport and logistics investment group of companies PTC Holding will start the construction of a container terminal in Georgia’s Black Sea port of Poti. PTC is the largest owner and operator of railway rolling stock in Central Asia.
Commissioning of the 80,000 containers (TEU) per year terminal on an area of 8 hectares is scheduled for 2024. In June, it was announced that PTC Holding will open a multimodal terminal in Poti. An opening by November, has been delayed and modified.
Kazakhstan’s Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development, Marat Karabaev, has participated in a capsule-laying ceremony at the site of the planned construction. Construction of the port terminal will be the first Kazakh infrastructure project to be implemented in Poti.
Strategy behind the new terminal
This is the latest of a string of recent projects in the region designed to bypass cargo transit through sanctions-hit Russia. The terminal is part of PTC’s strategy to develop the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR, Middle Corridor). It aims to improve connectivity and trade flows from Southeast Asia and China, via Kazakhstan, to Europe.
The port of Poti is the endpoint for the transportation of goods along the TITR to the Black Sea. The construction of a container terminal will allow Kazakhstani businesses to participate in cargo flows. This will create favourable tariff conditions for Kazakhstani exporters. It will also attract additional transit cargo through Kazakhstan.
“Such large infrastructure projects as the Kazakh-Chinese logistics center in the Chinese port of Lianyungang and the Khorgos-Eastern Gate dry port on the border with China were put into operation,” Karabaev said.
“Attention was paid to the port infrastructure of Caspian ports of Aktau and Kuryk, to the international transit corridor Western Europe-Western China. The second tracks are currently being built on the Dostyk-Moiynty railway section with a length of 836 km (will be ready by the end of 2025) ”.
“If TITR starts for container trains at Altynkol station, the border crossing between China and Kazakhstan, then it ends in Poti or Batumi,” Timur Karabaev, Chairman of the Board of PTC Holding, said in June. “Therefore, you need to be there”.
PTC Holding provides a full range of transport and logistics services. It delivers freight within Kazakhstan as well as to China, Southeast Asia, and Russia, to countries of the Eurasian Economic Union and of the European Union. The Holding is constructing transport and logistics terminals on the main overland international corridors between Europe and China.
The PTC is creating an international network of subsidiaries (“sales windows” and infrastructure projects) in order to attract additional transit cargo through Kazakhstan. Over the past two years, it has registered subsidiaries in Uzbekistan (Tashkent), China (Shanghai), Turkey (Istanbul) and Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek).
APM Terminal Poti expansion
in a related issue, in January, APM Terminal Poti announced that is in final negotiations with the Georgian government for an agreed expansion of the port, according to Ian Rollinson, the Chief Financial Officer of APM Terminal Poti. The company plans to invest around $250 million and has been in talks with the government for several years.
On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. International sanctions were imposed on Russia and most western international shippers stopped working in Russian ports. Moscow’s exports to Europe have virtually ended. Russia responded by implementing a new trade strategy, re-orientating trade towards Asia and away from Europe.
Various ports around the Black and Caspian Seas have seen increased traffic. This is driven by both Russia and by other countries trying to avoid Russia. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, cargo handling has increased at Poti port, increasing the demand for further capacity. Poti seeks an increased role in the Middle Corridor.
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