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Eye of Riyadh
Business & Money | Thursday 8 September, 2016 9:42 am |
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King Abdullah Port clinches SR2.7b financing deal for its expansion plan

The Ports Development Company, owner and developer of the King Abdullah Port – region’s first privately owned port – has announced the signing of a financial agreement with SABB and the Arab National Bank worth SR2.7 billion. The agreement aims to move forward with the development and expansion of the port’s facilities, thus meeting the growing demand for its services as a regional and international strategic gateway.

Through this agreement, The Ports Development Company will work to provide proper financing for the next phase of expansion and development for the port’s southern basin, which includes an additional container terminal, a ro-ro terminal and a bulk cargo terminal – this marks an important milestone as it will increase the port’s total capacity to 6 million TEU’s annually. This comes alongside the development of the ro-ro terminal with an annual storage capacity of 600 thousand vehicles, and the bulk cargo terminal, which has the capacity of handling up to 3 million tons annually. Furthermore, part of this funding will be dedicated to the development of logistical support spaces inside the port.

Engineer Abdullah Bin Muhammed Hameedadin, Managing Director at the Ports Development Company, said the King Abdullah Port has become a major gateway for import and export operations, as well as a main outlet to access new markets. He highlighted that the port significantly contributes to boosting intra-trade activities between the Kingdom and global markets, not to mention the port’s significance in the activation of the maritime shipping industry and enforcing its role within the Kingdom’s general transportation system, as well as restoring the Kingdom’s fair share of regional and international maritime shipping taken previously by other neighboring ports.

In addition to its strategic location, the King Abdullah Port is characterized by its application of the latest state of the art technology in port operation, including the smart gate system, which will launch by the end of 2016 in addition to the port’s current management system, an electronic portal bringing together stakeholders based on their needs, in order to implement various operations related to the import, export and monitoring of all kinds of goods. The port also benefits from its modern and advanced transportation network, which is designed to execute loading and transportation operations quickly and efficiently. Its proximity to the Kingdom’s highways facilitates the transportation of goods with the required speed at lower costs. There is no doubt that these features, in addition to the modern infrastructure and long, deep piers (18 meters), will contribute to the activation of the port’s role in enhancing the Kingdom’s development journey, as well as boosting its growth by contributing to boosting trade operations. King Abdullah Port has fulfilled a number of achievements during a relatively short period.

From an operational perspective, the fourth pier was opened in May 2015 as planned, raising the Port’s capacity to around 3 million containers. The pier was established and operating in record time, and was equipped with state of the art cranes that can carry up to 65 tons or 25 containers. This fourth pier had a major impact on the increase in number of TEU’s to 1.3 million the Port handled this year alone. Additionally, the Port’s management expects the completion of the first phase of bulk and ro-ro cargo terminals to take place by beginning of 2017.

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