Saudi plans $914m spend on port development
Dubai, November 6, 2012
Saudi Arabia’s plan to spend $914 million on port development in the kingdom will take centre stage at the upcoming Seatrade Middle East Maritime (SMEM) 2012, the region’s premier event for the maritime sector, in Dubai.
SMEM 2012 will take place in Dubai from November 27 to 29.
According to a September 2012 survey commissioned by Seatrade, conducted by Drewry Maritime Research, brisk economic growth is reflected in container activity in the Kingdom, which accounted for 20 per cent of regional throughput in 2011, with 5.69 million TEU.
Among the Saudi Ports Authority’s $164 million development plans is a $51 million power plant, which will be developed at King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam to raise power generation capacity from 50 mw to 120 mw.
Also in the pipeline are a new container terminal in Dhiba Port at a cost of $46 million and two further container terminals at King Fahd Industrial Port in Jubail at a cost of $38 million, which are due for completion by 2014.
More than $750 million is being invested into the growth of Dammam’s King Abdul Aziz Port, with $535 million set aside for container terminal capacity expansion – following a 10 per cent increase in container handling in the first half of 2012 against 2011 figures - and $213 million for other facilities.
A second container terminal is due to open in 2015 with Saudi Global Ports LLC developing the hi-tech facility, which will have a quay length of 1,200 metres and 12 quay cranes, with a design capacity of 1.8 million TEUs per annum, upon completion.
“The southwest of the Kingdom is similarly set to benefit from maritime investment with a new deep-water facility forming an integral part of the Jizan Economic City project,” said Chris Hayman, chairman of Seatrade, organiser of SMEM.
“With the focus on private sector development and management, this will interest prospective international partners to come on board to help create a world-class operation,” he added.
One of the country’s busiest container hubs, Jeddah Islamic Port, saw volumes increase by more than 20 per cent in 2011, with Drewry Singapore forecasting handling of 4.7 million TEUs this year with total capacity of 5.3 million TEU.
According to the Saudi Port Authority, the port recorded a 5.15 per cent growth in imports and exports in the first half of the year, rising to 3.6 million tonnes with total tonnage throughput growth of 29.5 per cent forecast for 2012, with an average increase of 10.9 per cent per annum through to 2016.
Growth at the Red Sea Gateway Terminal in Jeddah accounted for the handling of one million TEU in 2011, led by business from the United Arab Shipping Company and China Shipping Container Lines, with volumes expected to jump to 1.5 million TEU by the end of this year.
Saudi Arabian participants at the Seatrade event include Saleh Al-Jasser, CEO, The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri), who is also a keynote speaker at the opening session of the three-day conference, as part of a panel of industry leaders from across the region, who will discuss the state of the industry and open the floor for discussion in further conference sessions.
“Saudi Arabia is also turning to seabound tourism as a valuable economic driver and Saudi Ports Authority’s plans include a $27 million cruise and leisure vessel terminal to be constructed at Yanbu Commercial Port,” said Hayman. – TradeArabia News Service