Oil and oil-related shipments from Georgia’s Black Sea port of Batumi dropped 29 percent in the first three months of 2019 from a year earlier, an official at the terminal -operated by Kazakh KazMunaiGas, the state-owned oil and gas company of Kazakhstan- told Reuters.
Shipments of crude oil and refined oil products from Batumi have fallen in recent years, partly because Azerbaijan opts to transfer its oil via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline or via its own terminal at Georgia’s other Black Sea port of Kulevi.
Moreover, the official who did not want to be identified, noted there were no shipments of crude oil, naphtha, jet fuel or vacuum gasoil from Batumi in January-March.
An amount of crude oil was re-routed to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and to the Caspian Pipeline Consortium the official said, whereas some fuel oil was sent to the port of Taman in Russia and to Kulevi.
Oil-related shipments from Batumi fell to 212,949 tonnes in January-March, from 300,527 tonnes a year earlier. In March alone shipments were 87,005 tonnes, compared with 98,205 tonnes a year earlier and 75,700 tonnes in February this year.
Mainly crude and refined oil products from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan are shipped out of Georgia’s Black Sea ports of Batumi, Supsa, Poti and the terminal at Kulevi. Some products are transported across the Caspian Sea in small tankers, unloaded in the Azeri port of Baku and then sent by rail to Georgian ports for export to the Mediterranean.
In 2018, shipments of crude oil and refined oil products from Batumi were 1.030 million tonnes, against 2.109 million in 2017 and 3.377 million in 2016.
The 141-year-old port takes part in many transport projects and corridors, being a participant of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route TITR, the Eurasian transport corridor TRACECA and the Association of ports of the Black and Azov Seas BASPA.
Currently in port there are 5 terminals and 11 berths + CBM (point without berthing loading). The total throughput of the port is 18 million tons per year. The number of ships of the port fleet totals 13 units.
Earlier this year, it was announced that International logistics company Wondernet Express will build a multimodal transit terminal in Batumi Port.
The $20 million project will be of regional importance and will contribute to the growth of the economy of Georgia and particularly of Adjara region, according to Georgia’s Ministry of Economy.
The project entails the creation of a logistics corridor from Central Asian countries to Black Sea ports via Azerbaijan and Georgia.