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AD Ports acquires 60% ownership in Georgia-based Tbilisi Dry Port

AD Ports acquires 60% ownership in Georgia-based Tbilisi Dry Port
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Abu Dhabi – Mubasher: AD Ports Group signed a purchase agreement with Inveco LLC to acquire a 60% stake in the Tbilisi Dry Port, a new custom-bonded and rail-connected intermodal logistics hub in Georgia.

The ADX-listed group will initially invest AED 61 million ($16.50 million) in the project, which is expected to commence operating by the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2024, according to a press release.

Owned by Inveco LLC and Wilhelmsen, the project is a key logistics hub situated along the strategically important Middle Corridor. It links manufacturing hubs in Western Asia to consumer markets in Eastern Europe by leveraging a combination of sea and dry ports in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, and Türkiye.

The project secures direct westward railway links to Türkiye and to Georgian Ports of Poti and Batumi, which connect to European Black Sea ports in Bulgaria and Romania.

Furthermore, its eastern connectivity links with various ports located along the Caspian Sea via a railway corridor to Azerbaijan.

The project is expected to be implemented in three phases. The handling capacity will reach 96,500 TEUs by the end of the first phase, with 10,000 square metres of warehouse and a car storage yard.

Meanwhile, Noatum Logistics, part of the AD Ports, will operate and manage the facilities by leveraging the group’s cross-cluster portfolio and drawing on the expertise and capacities of Inveco LLC and Wilhelmsen.

Ahmed bin Ali Al Sayegh, the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, said: “In October 2023, the UAE and Georgia signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which aims to increase the bilateral non-oil trade between our two nations to AED 5.50 billion ($1.50 billion) in five years, while accelerating economic recovery and securing vital supply chains.”

“AD Ports Group’s investment in the Tbilisi Dry Port delivers on this objective, which is set to deepen trade and investment ties, develop global trade lanes, and generate market access opportunities for UAE and Georgian businesses alike,” Al Sayegh indicated.

Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO of AD Ports, commented: “By investing in, and operating, new strategic infrastructure and logistics hubs along the Caspian Sea - Black Sea Corridor, AD Ports is delivering on our strategy to strengthen global supply chains.”

Al Shamisi  highlighted: “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 Türkiye, thereby enabling us to serve our customers with cost-effective, streamlined cargo flows and capture significant future trade volumes.”

In the 12-month period that ended on 31 December 2023, AD Ports logged net profits attributable to the owners valued at AED 1.08 billion, an annual drop of  13% from AED 1.24 billion.