Bahrain gateway port work on track
Manama, April 28, 2008
The arrival of nine new cranes at the Khalifa Bin Salman Port - Bahrain Gateway in Hidd is a sign it is on target to be operational by the end of this year.
The equipment, shipped from Shanghai, China, included three ship-to-shore cranes and six Rubber-Tyre Gantry Cranes (RTGs).
Another ship-to-shore crane and six more RTGs are due to arrive at the end of next month.
'The cranes are the backbone of the port,' said APM Terminals Bahrain managing director Steen Davidsen at a Press conference and site visit at the new port on Sunday.
'We have all the equipment to put us on target to take over from the General Organisation for Ports at the end of August.'
He said the new port was on target to be operational by October or November.
The ship-to-shore cranes have a 30-metre span and are close to the height of a 30-storey building.
They have a container lifting capacity of 65 tonnes and are able to handle vessels that are up to 18 containers wide. The cranes are fitted with twin-lift spreaders to be able to lift two containers at a time.
The new equipment will enable the port to handle the sixth generation container vessels capable of carrying 6,000 twenty-foot equivalent units, which are substantially larger than the cargo vessels serving the region today.
With the new cranes the port can handle up to 2.5 million 20-foot containers. RTGs cost about $1.5 million each and ship-to-shore cranes about $6 million.
The cranes are part of a $62 million investment in equipment and systems made by APM Terminals Bahrain. Another $40 million has been invested in marine services such as tug and pilot boats.
The port has 1,800 metres of pier and 900,000sq/m in total and a water depth of 15 metres.
It will be used for receiving containers, general cargo, livestock and cruise lines.
Bahrain Gateway will serve the needs of both Bahrain and the GCC, providing a state-of-the-art transshipment hub for carriers looking to provide reliable, efficient shipping services to Bahrain and the surrounding countries.
'This port is too big just for the Bahrain market,' said Davidsen. Bahrain does 250,000 20 foot containers per year, but this port can handle two and a half million.'
'The aim is to turn Bahrain into a hub for the Upper Gulf. We foresee big growth in the petrochemical industries in the Upper Gulf - Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iran, and Bahrain is strategically placed.'
'This is a world class terminal and there is no reason it can't operate to international standards.'
APM Terminals Bahrain sales and marketing general manager Iain Rawlinson also attended the site visit.
Meanwhile, the ninth board meeting of the General Organisation of Sea Ports was held yesterday. The board discussed plans for the new port, as well as a dredging project in Bahrain's main channel to enable large ships to pass through.-TradeArabia News Service