KSA pushes ahead with maritime investment programme as demand drives need for increased capacity – key projects to be showcased at Seatrade Middle East Maritime 2012. Saudi Arabia’s vision for maritime sector growth will be highlighted at Seatrade Middle East Maritime (SMEM) 2012 as the Saudi Ports Authority and King Abdul Aziz Port together plan to spend $914m on port development in the Kingdom.
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% of regional throughput in 2011, with 5.69 million TEU.
Among the Saudi Ports Authority’s $164m development plans is a $51m 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 is a new container terminal in Dhiba Port at a cost of $46m and two further container terminals at King Fahd Industrial Port in Jubail at a cost of $38m, which are due for completion by 2014.
More than $750m is being invested into the growth of Dammam’s King Abdul Aziz Port, with $535m set aside for container terminal capacity expansion – following a 10% increase in container handling in H1 2012 against 2011 figures – and $213m 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 Seatrade Middle East Maritime, the region’s premier event for the maritime sector, which takes place in Dubai from 27-29 November.
“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% 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% 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% forecast for 2012, with an average increase of 10.9% 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 $27m cruise and leisure vessel terminal to be constructed at Yanbu Commercial Port,” remarked Hayman.