A number of mega port projects are currently underway in Saudi,
said Chris Hayman.
$30bn port projects coming up in Saudi
Riyadh, May 13, 2014
Saudi Arabia is experiencing exponential growth in its ports and shipping sectors with a number of mega infrastructural land and sea projects worth $30 billion within the government’s current five-year plan.
There are currently four major Saudi ports. Jeddah, Dammam, Jubail commercial and industrial port and Yanbu industrial and commercial port. However a number of new mega projects are already underway or planned, remarked Chris Hayman, the chairman of Seatrade, the organisers of the Saudi Maritime Congress.
The two day conference-led event, which will take place at the Sheraton Dammam Hotel & Towers from November 25 to 26, will attract up to 200 delegates. Amongst the participants offering first-hand business intelligence are some of the Kingdom’s foremost stakeholders, decision makers, investors, trade specialists and economists.
To promote internal and foreign direct investment still further and to support job creation initiatives for Saudi nationals, the first Saudi Maritime Congress has been launched under the patronage of Jabara bin Eid Al Suraiseri, the Saudi Arabian Minister of Transport and Chairman of Saudi Ports Authority.
The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri), one of the biggest shipping conglomerates in the world is the initiator and strategic partner of The Saudi Maritime Congress.
“The Saudi Ports Authority serves the largest economy in the region, handling 95 per cent of the exports and imports of the Kingdom (excluding crude oil). This represents 61 per cent of the total cargo handled in the GCC states, managing 210 Berths, distributed between nine commercial and industrial ports,” remarked Hayman.
The key port projects coming up in Saudi include Jeddah Islamic Port (JIP) which is currently undergoing an expansion project, which will eventually increase capacity by 45 per cent.
The Red Sea Gateway Terminal (RSGT) was launched at JIP with the facility receiving its first vessel, with the RSGT project having a 1.8 million twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) capacity.
The $510 million project has been developed on 400,000 sq m of reclaimed land and has a 740 metre main berth, plus a 390 metre feeder berth.
The other major projects of the kingdom include the seaport in phase one of the $26 billion, King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), which opened earlier this year in January and is designed to become one of the top ten ports in the world.
Marafiq’s Yanbu Industrial City - Marine Facilities ($210 million) and Saudi Aramco with their Dareen Port Expansion Project ($35 million) which is due to be completed this year.
As the Saudi economy has been progressively opened so too has the variety of domestic and export-oriented investment opportunities.
According to the UN World Investment Report 2013, Saudi Arabia’s FDI inflow in 2012 stood at $12.2 billion, nearly half of the $26.4 billion FDI recorded for the entire GCC region.
“This inward investment also provides the Saudi government with further means to create new jobs in the maritime, trade and logistics sectors. The unemployment rate for Saudis rose from 10.5 per cent at the end of 2009 to 12.1 per cent at the end of 2012, 30 per cent of which are young men, while the Kingdom employs eight million foreign workers. The congress will no doubt address these issues,” added Hayman.
According to the Saudi labour ministry, the economy needs to provide 3 million new jobs for Saudi nationals by 2015 and high birth rates are compounding the situation increasing the number of youths entering the job market every year, with salary expectations, on average, 3.6 times higher than those of foreign workers.
The event will also be complemented by an associated exhibition including leading shipping lines, shippers, cargo owners, forwarders, logistic companies, port terminal operators, port equipment and service suppliers.-TradeArabia News Service