The General Organisation of Sea Ports (GOP), the regulator for the country’s ports, is currently reviewing the request, and expects to make a decision in December.

International shipping traffic through the port, which serves Bahrain’s capital, Manama, has fallen this year, following the economic downturn.

Sheikh Daij bin Salman bin Daij al-Khalifa, chairman of GOP, says the group’s board has to approve any decision to increase the tariff. The board next meets in December.

“There is a request pending, which is currently being looked at,” he says. “A recommendation will be made to the GOP board. But we have to make sure it is a balanced decision, which protects the interests of the business community, so I am not going to prejudge the decision.”

Sheikh Daij declined to comment on the size of the fee APM has requested, but says Bahrain will “remain competitive in terms of the overall cost of services”.

APM finished moving activities from Bahrain’s old Mina Salman Port to Khalifa bin Salman Port in Manama in April. The US Navy now uses Mina Salman Port.