On July 29, the Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC) and Bob Meijer, one of its principal investors, filed separate arbitration claims against Georgia in relation to their rights in the Anaklia Port Project.
Noting that their claims seek to recover the value of ADC’s and Meijer’s rights in the project, the two said that the value of those rights is substantial, “in excess of USD 1 billion, representing ADC’s and Meijer’s losses directly resulting from the Georgian Government’s campaign to undermine the Anaklia Port Project.”
ADC lambasted the Government and ruling Georgian Dream party, noting that it “undertook an overt and covert campaign to ensure the Project could never succeed.”
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The Georgian Government headed by then PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili awarded ADC – a joint venture by Georgian TBC Holding and U.S.-based Conti International – the Port Project in 2016.
First storm clouds started gathering over the harbor in January 2019 when the Prosecutor’s Office announced that TBC Bank, the leading Georgian banking company, was facing a criminal investigation over money-laundering allegations. TBC’s Mamuka Khazaradze then claimed the investigation, among others, aimed at stalling the construction of the Port.
The Conti International, one of the main partners of the venture, quit ADC in August 2019. This move, reportedly, stemmed from a lack of agreement between the government and international financial institutions.
In January this year, the Government terminated the contract with the Consortium. Speaking about the importance of the Port in terms of the country’s economic development and security, Georgian Infrastructure Minister Maia Tskhitishvili said in January that the Government was beginning to look for “more serious and financially stronger” partner to implement the project.
- Prosecutor’s Office Freezes Assets of TBC’s Khazaradze, Japaridze
- TBC Bank Founders Speak Political Persecution, Call on Intl Community to ‘Actively Engage’
- TI Georgia: ‘No Proof of Money Laundering’ in TBC Bank Case
For more background, follow our tag on Anaklia port