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The Saudi Ports Authority (SPA) is preparing to release by the end of 2006 tender documents for the construction of a new container terminal at King Abdul- Aziz Port in Dammam on a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) basis. The project will add further capacity at the port, which is being expanded to handle 1.9 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) from the existing 840,000 TEUs. The planned new terminal will cost an estimated SR 500 million-700 million ($133 million-187 million) to build and will have capacity of 1.5 million TEUs, SPA’s director of commercial contracts, Abdulshahid al-Sunni, told MEED on the sidelines of the Trade & Investment Opportunities for British Companies in Saudi Arabia Strategic Forum in Edinburgh on 24 January. The contract to build and operate the new container terminal will be awarded on a 30-year BOOT concession. Expansion is ongoing at the existing King Abdul-Aziz Port container facility, which calls for the installation of six new super-post-Panamax gantry cranes and dredging of the channel to 16 metres from 14 metres, as well as the addition of at least four additional berths to the existing 39 berths.