EXCLUSIVE: Saudi port grows 50 per cent in first half

31 October 2018
King Abdullah Port set to increase container terminal capacity by 2 million 20-foot equivalent units next year

Container volume at King Abdullah Port (KAP), Saudi Arabia’s first privately owned seaport, grew by more than 50 per cent in the first half of 2018, according to its CEO Rayan Mustafa Qutub.

“The growth resulted from a combination of a growing domestic economy as well as growth in export,” Qutub tells MEED. “We expect growth to continue [for the rest of 2018] and we are working with our partners to sustain our momentum, ” the executive added.

The first-half growth in container volume is more than twice the port’s growth in 2017. The port reported an annual throughput of 1,695,322 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2017, a 21 per cent rise over the previous year.

Qutub says he expects the container terminal’s capacity to reach 5 million TEUs, from the current 3 million TEUs, before the end of next year as the company completes the installation of new equipment at two new berths along its south basin.

Qutub said they would proceed with the development of the port’s north basin depending on the future demand-supply scenario.

Run by Ports Development Company, a joint venture of Dubai-based developer Emaar and local Huta Marine, the port began operating at the end of 2013.

The port’s masterplan envisages a total capacity of 20 million TEUs, comparable to the capacity of Dubai’s Jebel Ali Port, upon completion.

The port is located in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), about 90 kilometres away from Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International airport, the country’s largest and busiest airport.

Saudi Arabia has nine other seaports, which are expected to be privatised under the government’s long-term economic vision.

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