APM Terminals set to open Bahrain Gateway
Manama, September 23, 2008
APM Terminals Bahrain is planning an end-of-year operational launch for Bahrain Gateway, at Khalifa bin Salman Port in Hidd, it was revealed on Tuesday.
However, with public holidays and high volumes of imports associated with the season, it may be pushed back to January, said general manager, sales and marketing, Iain Rawlinson.
The port aims to position itself as the hub for upper Middle East Gulf cargoes.
'Over the years we will most probably be faced with competition from other Gulf countries, but we'll have a couple of important advantages - we will be ready at the end this year and our location and space availability,' said APM Terminals Bahrain managing director Steen Davidsen.
He said the launch of the neighbouring Bahrain Logistics Zone in July had attracted customers, to the extent that a selection process was underway to see who would get land.
'With zero tax, goods can be imported and re-exported without duties and 100 per cent foreign ownership is permitted,' said Davidsen.
'On completion, the zone will offer space totalling 475,000 sq/m. With proximity to the causeway linking Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, the zone will pitch itself as a multi-modal hub for the region.
'A very important aspect of the move to Bahrain Gateway will be ensuring that the new container handling processes are understood by all port users, so that we can continue to operate in a manner in which safety takes precedence over all other concerns.'
To this end, all applicants for access to the new port will have to undertake a port users' safety awareness course in order to be approved to enter the port, said Rawlinson.
These are currently being run at Mina Salman on Mondays and Wednesdays, at 8.30am, 11am and 1pm. - TradeArabia News Service
For more information on these courses, please contact Ali Sultan on 17365559.
In addition, during October, APM Terminals will be running a series of information sessions for the various stakeholders, said Mr Rawlinson.
'This is to answer any questions about the transfer of operations from Mina Salman to Bahrain Gateway at Khalifa Bin Salman Port, as well as any longer-term questions about operations at the new facility,' he added.