History of the port
The history of transit navigation dates back to ancient times. The port was declared Porto Franco in 1878 (for the period until 1885). In 1884 the project of the further development of the port was created. The authors of the project were the first Head of Batumi Trade Port Admiral Greve and an engineer George Alkovich. The implementation of the project started in 1885. The main factor of the development of Batumi Sea Port was oil from the beginning. It made the basis for the construction of Batumi-Baku railway line.
The intensive growth of the amount of the oil exported caused the necessity of the development of the appropriate port infrastructure.
From 18 societies that dealt with the oil transportation, particularly significant were the companies of Rothschild, Mantashev and Nobel. The volume of the first export of oil products made in 1883 was 3 million pounds.
On January 5, 1892 the design of oil tanker – a new type of sea transport was approved in Great Britain. In 1885-1892 oil facility was constructed in the depth of Batumi Bay. In 1886-1889 two oil berths were constructed 80 and 95 meters long for the reception of the ships loaded with oil. The first British oil tanker “Murex” left English port West Hartlepool in 1892. It headed for the port of destination Batumi, and from there loaded with oil made for Singapore and Thailand.
The same ship loaded in Batumi Sea Port opened the navigation of the oil tankers through the Suez Channel on 23rd of August, 1892.
In 1990 the construction of oil pipeline Baku-Batumi was completed. Owing to the Batumi Sea Port, in short period Russia managed first to catch up with and later to surpass the United States of America in oil production and export.
By the beginning of the XX century, Batumi Sea Port became one of the leading ports of the Black Sea by its importance and freight turnover. Later, five more berths were built for oil tankers and dry cargo ships. The freight turnover was increasing, the range of the cargo expanded. In 1923, during the period of the Soviet government, Batumi Sea Port was registered as the port of the highest — 1 category, what sped up its development even more.
At that time it was among the ports of the Soviet Union, with the turnover of more than 1 million tones. In 1959-1962 the marine passenger terminal was built and by 1967 the port could already receive large-capacity vessels in the outer harbor.
Participation in the oil transportation turned Batumi Sea Port in the important center of Eurasian transportation corridor and major transportation object of international importance.