Efforts are underway to develop Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Port Dammam (KAPD) into a mega container terminal and regional hub for shipping.
In a statement, Singapore’s PSA, an investor in the new project, announced that less than six months after signing a 30-year Build, Operate and Transfer agreement, operations of the two container terminals was transferred from the Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) to the newly established Saudi Global Ports Company (SGP), which will oversee the expansion of the terminal operations effective this month.
This will make SGP the sole container terminal operator of the port.
Since the signing of the BOT agreement, Mawani and SGP have worked closely on various activities including manpower retention, transfer of assets, engagement of the port community, and collaboration with stakeholders like Tabadul and Customs Authority.
In addition to the transfer of equipment from Mawani, SGP has advanced the purchase and commissioning of more than 200 new handling equipment to facilitate smooth operations at both terminals.
“I would like to express my gratitude to the management and working teams from Mawani and SGP for their close partnership. The smooth transition within a short timeline under the pandemic situation is phenomenal. The positive relationship will be the catalyst to accelerate the developments to elevate the seaport and logistics capabilities of Dammam to support the industrial growth initiatives under Saudi Vision 2030,” said Abdulla Zamil, Chairman of SGP.
Mawani’s President, H.E Eng. Saad commented, “I am pleased that the transition has taken place successfully. I am confident that SGP will continue to raise the performance and customer service levels across both terminals through their strong business practices and as SGP invests and develops key infrastructure, focusing on environmentally friendly and technologically sophisticated systems to develop a modern Saudi workforce.”
SGP’s development and modernisation plans will integrate both container terminals into a mega container hub, capable of competing globally and well-positioned for the future.
Biggest seaport investment in Saudi Arabia
When the planned expansion works are fully completed, KAPD’s annual container handling capacity will increase to an estimated 7.5 million TEUs.
SGP’s estimated total investment of around US$ 1.8 billion is expected to be the largest seaport investment by a single operator under a public-private partnership in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“We would like to thank our shareholding partner PIF, Mawani, and the Kingdom for their strong support and confidence in SGP. As both a shareholder and technical partner, PSA is committed to providing its expertise and leveraging its resources towards the transformation of King Abdulaziz Port into a global mega-hub, with modern and robust infrastructure,” said Wan Chee Foong, regional CEO of Middle East South Asia, PSA International.