In a virtual signing ceremony, Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI) and Saudi Global Ports (SGP) have inked a build, operate, and transfer (BOT) agreement for the Container Terminals in the King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam, with investments worth $1.9bn (SAR7bn).
Touted as the largest 30-year BOT deal in the kingdom, the agreement was signed with the participation of Minister of Transport and chairman of the SPA, HE Eng. Saleh Al-Jasser; coordinating minister for infrastructure and minister for transport of singapore, Khaw Boon Wan; president of SPA, HE Eng. Saad bin Alkhalb; and chairman of SGP, Eng. Abdullah Al-Zamil.
The agreement comes as an operational start to the MoUs signed in the presence of HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, during the inauguration of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP).
As part of the agreement, SGP will start with a development and modernisation programme to transform King Abdulaziz Port into a mega container hub and increase the port’s capacity to an estimated annual handling capacity of 7.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units when the planned expansion works are fully completed.
The agreement will provide more than 4,000 job opportunities in the port and logistics sector in the kingdom.
The investment looks to develop the infrastructure of the port including berths and container handling equipment, as well as more than double the existing container handling capacity of King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam.
Additionally, the investments will focus on environmental-friendly and technologically sophisticated systems, including the adoption of automation to develop a modern Saudi workforce.
Speaking about the agreement, Al-Jasser said: “The continuous developments in Saudi ports come in line with the national efforts to achieve goals and pillars of our country’s ambitious vision to promote sustainable economic development and raise competitiveness”
Meanwhile, Alkhalb, said that the BOT deal was a continuation of the agreements signed by MAWANI to develop container terminals at Jeddah Islamic Port in December 2019, with investments worth more than $2.4bn (SAR9bn).
He added: “These new agreements will contribute mainly to developing berths, increasing the capacity of container terminals in King Abdulaziz Port by more than 120%, and providing integrated solutions to operate container terminals.
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