Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC) has given local and international companies until 7 May to submit expressions of interest for the contract to rehabilitate, equip, finance, operate and transfer the marine service assets at the port of Aqaba.

The successful bidder will form a joint venture with ADC to: provide pilotage services, pilot boat, towage and mooring services; operate tow boats and barges; and oversee the operation of the marine slipway. The new contract is in line with ADC?s strategy to attract private sector involvement in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZ) and to develop the zone into a regional hub.

Netherlands-based APM Terminals, part of Denmark?s Maersk Group, was awarded a two-year contract last July, which is planned to be converted into a 25-year joint venture with ADC to manage and develop the Aqaba port container terminal (MEED 19:3:04; 22:7:05).

Royal Haskoning of the Netherlands submitted a masterplan in December for the southern industrial zone in the ASEZ. The plans entail the expansion of the existing industrial port with a multi-purpose jetty and terminal as well as industrial areas on the plateau above the port area. Facilities at the main port in the north of the zone will be transferred to the south as part of the plans. Road connections to the port and its related facilities will also be improved and a railway terminal will be built. The area is located next to the border with Saudi Arabia (MEED 8:7:05).

Two separate logistics contracts in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZ) have already been awarded. A team of PWC Logistics and National Aviation Services, both of Kuwait, has the 10-year contract to equip and operate the existing cargo terminal at King Hussain International Airport. A group comprising PWC, the local Kawar Group and Singapore-based Overseas Ports Management (OPM) has the second contract, to form a joint venture with ADC to develop, operate and manage the existing logistics park (MEED 4:11:05).