Dammam set for BOOT-led port expansion

01 February 2006

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.

The expansion project is being financed by terminal operator International Ports Services (IPS), part of Hong Kong's Hutchison Port Holdings Group, under the terms of a 10-year extension to its operations contract signed in 2004. IPS will operate the terminal until 2017.

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