Port Wings News Network:
International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) formally inaugurated the expansion of its Batumi International Container Terminal (BICT) in Georgia.
The expansion encompasses both the waterside and landside areas of the multipurpose terminal, intended to optimize the processing of existing cargo flows and install additional capacity to accommodate new business.
Marking the importance of the occasion, the inauguration was attended by Giorgi Kobulia, Georgian Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development; Tornike Rizhvadze, Chairman of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara; senior executives from Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)–the terminal’s principal container customer–and Hans-Ole Madsen, ICTSI Senior Vice President and Europe, Middle East and Africa Head.
Commenting at the time of the inauguration, Mr. Madsen said: “This new investment consolidates and expands BICT’s competitive position. A comprehensive dredging program, undertaken in cooperation with Batumi Sea Port, provides an 11.5-meter draught in the port’s fairway and alongside BICT’s quay line allowing easy access for feedermax vessels at the port and making it Georgia’s deepest draught port.
“On the landside,” he continued, “we have met the stated requirement of importers and established a new container freight station (CFS) complete with a 180-meter rail spur to facilitate cross-stuffing from containers to rail cars. Complementing this, we have also expanded container and truck storage areas, and following the completion of a new highway to Batumi, introduced a new, dedicated two-lane gate complex for BICT.”
Batumi, unlike Potti–Georgia’s other major port–offers all-year round access without closures due to high winds.
The overall development program for BICT raises annual container handling capacity to 200,000 TEUs and boosts its general cargo and dry bulk handling capacities. It further concurs with the Georgian Government’s stated objective of growing Georgia’s role as a transport-logistic hub serving the Caucasus and Central Asia.