Container terminals will be developed in a key Red Sea port as Saudi Arabia pushes to become a major global logistics hub
Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) has signed agreements with DP World and Red Sea Gateway Terminal (RSGT) to develop and operate container terminals in Jeddah Islamic Port.
This will open a new centre for import and export of container traffic under the Saudi Vision 2030 initiative, positioning Saudi Arabia as a global logistics hub linking trade between Asia, Europe and Africa through the Middle East.
The agreement will increase trade and port towage operations as it boosts opportunities for marine services and the regional supply chain in Jeddah and the Red Sea.
Under this agreement, Build, Operate, and Transfer contracts are scheduled to be signed between Mawani and the port operators before the end of 2019.
This would enable DP World and RSGT to begin developing container terminals to accommodate the world’s largest container ships and order relevant marine services partners.
Mawani said the concession contracts “are anticipated to have direct positive impact on the Saudi economy through increasing the level of investments and ensuring the adoption of international best practices in ports’ operations”.
This initiative complements Mawani’s joint efforts with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Transport and National Center for Privatization, which aims to develop the Saudi ports ecosystem and raise the nation’s competitiveness.
These developments will add to the existing facilities at Jeddah Islamic Port.
DP World already operates the South Container Terminal (SCT) at Jeddah providing a hub on key east-west trade routes through the Red Sea. There it has four berths along a quayside with 16 m of water depth and annual capacity of 2.4M TEU.
RSGT already operates a terminal in Jeddah with five berths, three for ultra-large container ships and one for feeder ships. It has an annual capacity of 2M TEU.
Tugs for these new terminals are likely to be operated by local owners, such as Star Marine. In 2018, the owner took delivery of a fleet of new escort and terminal tugs from Triyards. These were built to Robert Allan RAstar design and managed by Marine Services Co in the port of Rabigh in Saudi Arabia.