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Friday, 28 November 2014

Saudi Arabia progresses $30 billion port investment plan

Saudi Arabian authorities have reported positive progress in plans to invest a total of $30 billion in its port and shipping sector.

The vast investment is part of a $100 billion strategy to improve transport and logistics in the country up to 2020. Projects include the development of a major port at the new King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), and the $35 million expansion of Saudi Aramco’s Dareen Port Expansion Project (US$ 35 million) which is due to be completed this year.

Larger ports needed to compete internationally

The vast investment is required to ensure the country can compete in the global industry where a trend for ever larger ports with greater capacity is leading development.

"Shipping lines want to come to port for the same length of time, but with more cargo; they want to come for the same length of time, but with larger vessels, so it is our job to look after those vessels,” Jay New, chief executive of International Port Services Company (IPS) commented.

Expansion work is also currently underway the Jeddah Islamic Port (JIP) where the Red Sea Gateway Terminal (RSGT) opened earlier this year. Costing approximately of $510 million the new terminal provides 1.8 million TEU capacity and features a 740 metre main berth and 390 metre feeder berth.

"On the Red Sea, there are more than 25,000 merchant vessels navigating North and South. Only two old repair yards with limited docking capabilities are available in Jeddah and Suez, there is room for at least one world class ship repair yard to be built,” Hassan Abouraya, risk management executive at Zamil Offshore Services commented.

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