From Redoubt Kale to BST (Black Sea Terminal LLC)
Kulevi or Redoubt Kale has a very ancient and rich past. In 1804, Russians landed in the mouth of Khobistskali River and built a fortress – Redoubt. Earlier however, there used to be a tower (Kule or Kulevi), that was constructed by the Prince of Megrelia, Sir Jaiani. The former Kule and the newly-built Redoubt became the Redoubt Kale port, one of the most significant ports of the Black Sea coast. It served as a trans-shipment point for goods coming from the Mediterranean, Azov and Black Seas to Transcaucasia. The importance of the port became apparent in 1821, when favourable traffic market rates were established. Since then, the cargo is shipped to the Middle East as well. In 1846, Redoubt Kale was granted port city status. Soon after, during the Crimean War, Turks bombed the port, and Redoubt Kale finally lost its significance, when Baku and Tbilisi could reach Poti via railway; The Poti and Sokhumi port cities came forward.
Redoubt Kale rose again when the oil terminal construction idea came into view in 1998. According to special survey forecasts, by 2010-2015, Georgian Ports wouldn’t be able to handle the expected volumes of oil and oil products. Thus in 1999, the Georgian Government signed an order regarding Kulevi Oil Terminal and port construction.
The project was fully implemented when the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) decided to continue the construction of the terminal in December of 2006. Established in 1992, SOCAR is one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world. The latest success of SOCAR in many respects is the achievement of the President of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, Rovnag Abdullayev.
SOCAR, with its present economic condition and development prospects, has made a key impact on rapid economic development of Azerbaijan, and now it is contributing to the economy of Georgia.
In May 2008, the terminal began functioning, and from the first day of operations, all activities were aimed at the main goal – to increase of the output capacity.
Since 2008 the terminal shipped over 15 million tons of oil and oil products. This is one of many other achievements that became possible because of hundreds of people’s hard work, including the BST team, shareholders, and the Georgian and Azerbaijan government authorities.
In 2008, the terminal was certified in ISO 9001 (Quality Management System), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System) and OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Management System), which means that all management system processes at the terminal fully meet the international standard requirements.
Its successful business development strategy and compliance with international standards attracted the large crude oil carrier Tengizchevroil, and so since May of 2010, Kulevi Oil Terminal began to ship crude oil.
The list of achievements that BST has attained since beginning its operation (May, 2008) is long. This is the result of firmness, tenacity and the collaborative efforts of experienced management and highly qualified personnel. Therefore, Kulevi Oil Terminal and Port today is a proof of stable development which means that it excellently defines and achieves its goals.