Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, inaugurated the King Abdullah Port in Rabigh on Monday evening.
"The port will make the Kingdom a linking point of three continents – Asia, Europe and Africa,” said the Crown Prince in his speech at the launching ceremony.
The inauguration ceremony was held on the sidelines of the visit of the Crown Prince to King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC).
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Transport Nabil Al-Amoudi said the port is the first one in the Kingdom, owned, managed and operated by the private sector.
He said the total value of exports at the port is expected to reach SR600 billion in 2020 and the added value for port exports would reach SR500 billion in 2030.
The capacity of the port will be up to 20 million containers after development.
Saleh Bin Laden, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Port Development Company, said that the King Abdullah Port is one of the largest and fastest ports in the region and that the company will contribute to make the port one of the top 10 ports in the world.
A number of agreements were also signed by the King Abdullah Port with some agencies on the occasion. These include a memorandum of understanding, which was inked with Saudi Air Cargo for setting up of a Land – Air Bridge to link the port and airport sectors in the Kingdom with a volume of intra-trade, costing SR10 billion by 2030.
The port, which is part of KAEC, is aimed at making Saudi Arabia a global logistics hub and will provide jobs for 20,000 Saudis. More than 13 percent of the world trade movement passes through the port, which is one of the largest infrastructure projects in the Kingdom.
The port, about 120 km north of Jeddah, features the world’s deepest 18-meter water berths and state-of-the-art processing facilities. It is regarded as a role model for national projects and a driver of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
Located on one of the main international trade routes, King Abdullah Port, owned by the Ports Development Company, facilitates trade between Asia and Europe. Spanning over 17 square kilometers, the port was named among the world’s top 100 container ports and acquired the eighth position among the fastest growing ports in the world in less than four years after starting its operations. Upon completion, King Abdullah Port will have a capacity of 20 million containers (TEU), 1.5 million vehicles of car equivalent units (CEU) and 15 million tons of clean bulk cargo each year. In 2018, the port increased its annual capacity by 26 percent to 2.3 million TEUs.