King Abdulaziz Port ‘one-stop shop for maritime industry’s needs’

King Abdulaziz Port 2King Abdulaziz Port, Saudi Arabia’s largest port, uses a 360º approach that makes it not only an integrated maritime and marine centre but also a comprehensive one-stop shop for all services required by the maritime industry

The success story of the port dates back to more than four decades ago. It has expanded from a small berth capable of accommodating only two ships and connected to a 13 km monorail off the coast of Dammam, to a huge complex of ports, shipyards and warehouses.

It is also a base for an integrated infrastructure of factories and facilities for various maritime and marine activities, just one kilometre from the heart of Dammam.

Walid Al Faris, director general of the port, said, “Operations at King Abdulaziz Port started four decades ago mainly to serve the oil and gas industry, which flourishes in the Eastern Province.”

“The port is the integrated commercial window that connects the kingdom to the world and its location on the Arabian Gulf makes it ideal for exporting goods to neighbouring markets in Asia and the Indian subcontinent,” he added.

360º comprehensive strategy

Commenting on the port’s integrated capabilities, Al Faris said, “King Abdulaziz Port can handle any type of cargo with its unique capabilities that are rarely found in a single port. It has four terminals operated by the best port management and operation companies. These include two container terminals.

“The first, operated by the International Port Services Company, has a capacity of 2.5mn containers TEU’s and a 16 m deep with 10 berths totalling 2,160 metres in length. It is equipped with 17 bridge cranes, five of them are fully operated remotely.

“The second terminal, operated by the Saudi Global Ports Company, has a capacity of 1.5 mn containers TEU’s, with two berths totalling 700 metres in length and a 16.5 metres deep. It is equipped with six bridge cranes and has an additional 600,000 sq m area. The terminals are supported by a large number of mobile stackers and container cranes.

“The port also has a general and bulk cargo terminal in the eastern part, operated by Globe Marine Services Company. It includes nine berths totalling 1,740 metres in length and 12 to 14 metres deep. It features 56,000 sq m covered warehouses and 342,000 sq m open storage areas. The central cargo terminal, operated by United Technical Company Ltd, includes 13 berths with length 2,465 metres, and nine to 14 m deep, 44,800 sq m covered warehouses, and 372,000 sq m open storage areas.”

In addition to the four main terminals, the port has a 33,600 sq m black cement and clinker export terminal and has a capacity storage silos around 30,000 tonnes for black cement and a 40,000 tonnes for clinker.

Ideal environment for import, export and docking

He said the port has 351,000 sq m storage and re-export area, including 22 thermal-insulated warehouses, six of them are air-conditioned. Saudi factories rely heavily on the port’s capabilities to export its products to international markets, thereby making it a key partner in supporting alternative economy sectors, the director general said.

It is also well connected to a network of modern highways linking it to all cities of the Eastern Province. As well as, it is also linked by the railway that connects directly to the Dry Port in Riyadh.

Incubator for Saudi maritime industry

King Abdulaziz Port also includes some of the best marine manufacturing facilities in the Arabian Gulf region.

“The port houses King Fahd complex for repairing ships, operated by Al Balaghah Holding Group. It consists of two floating docks for repairing ships and offshore rigs over an area of 147,000 sq m. It also houses a marine construction and repair complex, managed and operated by Zamil Offshore Services Company.

A total of 70 vessels were built in this shipyard and over 360 marine pieces of different sizes and types were repaired or maintained, including huge offshore rigs. Thus, the port is a comprehensive one-stop shop for ships where they can confidently set off to anywhere in the world assured of the proficient services they received,” he concluded.

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