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SULB unveils newly-constructed wharf in Bahrain

MANAMA, October 7, 2021

SULB, a major steel producer serving international markets, has announced the opening of the newly-constructed wharf. 
 
The new private port facility, located at Salman Industrial City in Hidd, will significantly enhance the company’s supply chain and deliver strong environmental and economic benefits for Bahrain and its customers.
 
Developed at a cost of $20 million, the facility is 230 m long and can accommodate ships up to 180 m LOA, 40,000 DWT.  Now in operation, it will allow for a strong reduction in SULB’s usage and dependance on Bahrain’s public roads and port network. 
 
A major player in the region, SULB is 51% owned by Foulath Holding, the Bahrain-based investment vehicle for the metals industry across the Middle East region. 
 
Foulath was established by the six GCC countries through their investment holding company Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC). It is 49% owned by Yamato Kogyo, a Japanese global major in structural steel production. 
 
Shipping directly by sea to customers, nearly one million tonne of SULB’s product will be taken off Bahrain’s roads each year. 
 
This is equivalent to 40,000 trailers annually, which will not only significantly reduce traffic in the Kingdom and wear and tear on roads, but is also expected to result in a substantial reduction in its post-production greenhouse-gas emissions nearing 18,000 tonne per year.
 
To commemorate the launch, SULB was presented with the Port/Private Jetty Operator License by the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications’ Ports and Maritime Affairs in the presence of senior officials including Bader Hood Al Mahmood, Assistant Undersecretary for Ports Affairs.
 
With its own shipping facility, SULB said it has now effectively secured its supply chain bolstering business continuity for the company and its global customers. 
 
Savings and the securing of its strong forex contributions to Bahrain’s economy will also be supported by the new facility through reductions in the company’s cost of exporting and a greater return of earned dollars, it stated.
 
On the new facility, Al Mahmood said: "We are delighted to see private sector initiatives and investments that support greater efficiency, Bahrain’s position as a leading regional exporter and which contribute to the Kingdom’s plans and policies to see the economy operate in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly manner."
 
The new facility will help SULB save 30% on its annual Freight on Board (FOB) charges while also helping customers reduce their procurement fees by up to 20% as a result of SULB’s onsite loading and shipment capabilities. 
 
SULB currently exports 99% of its products annually to customers in more than 25 countries located across the broader Mena region, South East Asia, Americas and Europe. 
 
Today, nearly 50% of all structural steel sections used in the GCC’s infrastructure development are manufactured by the company in Bahrain, he stated.  
 
The inauguration of the facility was followed by a water salute executed by members of the SULB team and two ships are expected to arrive at the facility within the first month of its operation. 
 
The first will arrive to load for export 13,000 tonnes of Made in Bahrain steel beams and the second ship with 32,000 tonne will be loaded by month’s end. 
 
SULB produces 1.7 mtpa of direct reduced iron from iron ore pellets manufactured by sister-company Bahrain Steel, 1.2 mtpa of steel and delivers almost 800,000 tons of finished beams, angles and channels along with its sister company in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia. 
 
CEO Ravi Singh said: "This is a win-win proposition for the kingdom, our company, our customers and our community. The new facility will help us operate more efficiently."
 
"It significantly strengthens our export supply chain for the benefit of our customers, the kingdom’s economy and our position as one of Bahrain’s largest exporters and net forex earners," he added.



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