GCC risks port overcapacity

17 February 2013

Some operators may struggle as new ports across the GCC are delivered

An industry analyst has warned of impending ports overcapacity as new facilities are completed across the GCC.

“Transport demand in the region will grow by 10 per cent annually until we get enough [infrastructure] in place,” said Ulrich Koegler, vice-president at Booz & Co, speaking at the Qatar Projects 2013 conference on 17 February. “There is potential there is too much being built on the port side, so it will not be a great experience on a port operator level, even though it is from a strategic level.”

New port capacity is currently being built in all six GCC states, with major greenfield projects in Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Last year, Abu Dhabi opened its new Khalifa port at Taweelah.

More ports are needed in some countries, notably Qatar, which is preparing to host football’s Fifa World Cup in 2022 and has $70bn-worth of construction contracts on the slate. “Qatar is doing well with its new port, [however] it is perhaps a little too late, so there might be a bottleneck in 2015-16,“ said Koegler.

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