The AD Ports group has been deploying significant funds in strategic overseas investments, whether in the wider Middle East and Europe. The Georgia investment is the latest. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: In another geographical expansion, the AD Ports Group is buying a majority stake in a rail-connected logistics hub in Georgia. It bought 60 per cent in the Tbilisi Dry Port from with Inveco llc.

The project, currently owned by Inveco and Wilhelmsen, is likely to be operational later this year. The logistics hub is situated along the strategic 'Middle Corridor' - an emerging trade lane linking manufacturing hubs in Western Asia to consumer markets in Eastern Europe by leveraging a combination of sea and dry ports located in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, and Turkey.

As the key logistics facility in Georgia connecting the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea, the Tbilisi Dry Port project consists of different integrated facilities such as a container freight station, warehouses and a car storage park.

"It will act as the point of entry and exit as well as a regional transit point for manufacturers, shippers and consignees moving containers, vehicles and other goods for distribution and storage," the statement said. 

It will offer direct west-ward railway links to Turkey and to Georgian ports of Poti and Batumi, which further connect to European Black Sea ports in Bulgaria and Romania. On the eastern side, it links up with different ports located along the Caspian Sea via a railway corridor to Azerbaijan.

The development offers 'significant inter-modal logistics capabilities given its location within the Tbilisi airport’s industrial zone'. These are to be backed by warehousing facilities as well as a cargo and vehicle logistics hub. The project consists of two land parcels and will be developed in phases. (An additional 88,000 square metres of land is available to cater for further volume growth.)

By investing in, and operating, new strategic infrastructure and logistics hubs along the Caspian Sea - Black Sea Corridor, AD Ports Group is delivering on our strategy to strengthen global supply chain

- Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi of AD Ports Group

A 3-phase project

To be developed in three phase, by the end of the initial phase, the handling capacity at the port is expected to reach 96,500 TEUs, with 10,000 square metres of warehouse and a car storage yard.

On the completion of Phase 3, the project will have a handling capacity of 286,000 TEU, 100,000 square metres of warehouse and an expanded car storage yard. (More plots have already been secured and can be developed as and when needed.)

Noatum Logistics, part of AD Ports Group, will operate and manage the facilities.

"As a country situated at the centre of the Caucasus and located along the Black Sea, Georgia is a key destination linking us with our growing maritime and logistics assets in Central Asia and Turkey, thereby enabling us to serve our customers with cost-effective, streamlined cargo flows and capture significant future trade volumes,” said Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO of AD Ports Group.