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Saudi Ports Authority, Saudi Global Ports sign mega BOT agreement

Saudi Ports Authority, Saudi Global Ports sign mega BOT agreement

The agreement will create more than 4,000 job opportunities in the port and logistics sector

‏Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI) and Saudi Global Ports (SGP) signed a new build, operate and transfer (BOT) agreement to develop and operate container terminals at King Abdulaziz port in Dammam.

Upon assuming the responsibility of managing both container terminals, SGP will commence a development and modernisation programme to transform the King Abdulaziz port into a mega container hub and to increase the port’s capacity to an estimated annual handling capacity of 7.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units once completed.

With a total investment of SAR7bn, the project will provide more than 4,000 job opportunities in the port and logistics sector.

The agreement, the largest in the last 30 years, also covers the investment and development of key infrastructures such as berths and container handling equipment, and will more than double the existing container handling capacity of King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam.

The investments will focus on environmentally friendly and technologically sophisticated systems, including the adoption of automation to develop a modern Saudi workforce.

Saleh Al-Jasser, minister of transport and chairman of the Saudi Ports Authority, said: “The continuous developments in Saudi ports come in line with the national efforts to achieve goals and pillars of our country’s ambitious vision to promote sustainable economic development and raise competitiveness.”

Al-Jasser explained that the agreement will enhance logistics, raise the reliability of supply chains, support local and international trade and scale the kingdom’s position in the logistics performance index to become among the 25 best countries around the world.

This agreement also will attract new investments to the national economy, support local content and national industries and increase the national exports and imports.

“These new agreements will contribute mainly to developing berths, increasing the capacity of container terminals in King Abdulaziz Port by more than 120 per cent, and providing integrated solutions to operate container terminals. They achieve technological and information integration and automation of operating systems and set environmentally friendly operating practices, which contribute to strengthening their leading role in the global maritime traffic and supporting the import and export operations,” said Saad Alkhalb, president of MAWANI.

The total expected investments in Jeddah Islamic Port and King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam amount to approximately SAR17bn.

The King Abdulaziz port is an integrated trade gateway linking the kingdom with the world, hosting 43 berths and a capacity of 105 million tons.

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