Saudi signs SR7 billion BOT with Singapore for a mega-port in Dammam

Published: Friday, May 29, 2020

RIYADH/DAMMAM: The Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI) and Saudi Global Ports (SGP) have signed a SR7 billion (about USD1.865 billion) new Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) agreement to develop the King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam into a mega-container and port hub.

Under the patronage of H.R.H. Prince Saud bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Governor of the Eastern Region, (MAWANI), the agreement, the largest 30-year BOT deal in the Kingdom, was signed remotely in April by the parties concerned as countries observe the global travel ban to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

H.E. Eng. Saleh Al-Jasser, Minister of Transport and Chairman of the Saudi Ports Authority; Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport of Singapore; H.E. Eng. Saad bin Alkhalb, President of Saudi Ports Authority; and Eng. Abdullah Al-Zamil, Chairman of Saudi Global Ports, participated in the remote agreement signing.

The BOT agreement calls for SGP to transform the King Abdulaziz Port into a mega container hub and increase its capacity to 7.5 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units. The project is seen to create over 4,000 jobs in the country’s port and logistics industry which the Saudi government wants to develop under its Saudi Vision 2030 initiative.

SGP also agreed to invest and develop key infrastructure such as berths and container handling equipment, focusing on environmentally friendly and technologically sophisticated systems, including the adoption of automation to develop a modern Saudi workforce.

The King Abdulaziz Port is the largest Saudi port on the Arabian Gulf coast covering 19 km². It is an integrated trade gateway linking the Kingdom to the world with 43 berths and capacity for 105 million tons. It is linked with Riyadh Dry Port by railway, enabling goods from all over the world enter the eastern and central regions of the Kingdom.

The port provides comprehensive operational services enabling it to handle various types of cargo. It has two advanced container terminals, one refrigerated cargo terminal, two general cargo terminals, two cement plants: one for exporting black cement and clinker and one for white cement, bulk grain terminal, Iron ore handling terminal, naval vessel manufacture area and gas and oil platform. It also has a ship repair facility that includes two floating ship docks to accommodate ships up to 215 meters long.