A lease agreement to operate and manage the terminal for 48 years was signed in September. The operating agreement covers an area of 13.6 ha within the port, consisting of Berths 4 and 5 for a container terminal and Berth 6 for use as a ferry terminal and for dry bulk general cargo, together with rail ferry terminal facilities. On the day of the handover, BICT serviced its first vessel, the Bulgarian ferry MV Geroite na Sevastopol, which carried a mixed cargo of rail wagons, trucks and containers.
The company is now drawing up plans to refurbish two portal cranes at Berth 6, and is looking into the possibility of handling container vessels using mobile harbour cranes as well as ro-ro vessels. It has also outlined preliminary activities to strengthen quay walls for Berths 4 and 5. Batumi Container Terminal marks ICTSI’s first major investment in the Black Sea Region.