Saudi Port Anticipates Breakbulk 'Hypergrowth'

Saudi Port Anticipates Breakbulk 'Hypergrowth'

Breakbulk volumes in Saudi Arabia were being driven by a large and young growing population, competitive energy prices and a strategic location, Rayan Qutub, CEO of King Abdullah Port, told visitors at Breakbulk Middle East.

Cargo growth will be further boosted by Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030 project and the Kingdom’s move to diversify its exports to reduce dependency on oil in the future.

Breakbulk handling operations at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Port’s stand at almost 20 million tonnes, made up of general cargo at 46 percent, steel at 39 percent, cement at 8 percent and timber at 7 percent.

Qutub expected a “hypergrowth situation” through to 2020 with expected growth of 15 percent in breakbulk volumes, spurred by the unlocking of certain sectors, such as steel which is expected to grow from 8 million tonnes to 11 million tonnes by 2020.

By 2020, King Abdullah Ports expects to be handling 29.5 million tonnes of breakbulk, up from 19.6 million tonnes in 2017. “King Abdullah Port is already ‘walking the walk,’ ” said Qutub.

King Abdullah Port is the first private port in Saudi Arabia and is owned by Ports Development Company, a joint venture between Emaar Economic City and Bin Laden Group. A total of US$2.7 billion has already been invested in the port by the private sector. Total investment is expected to be US$5 billion.

King Abdullah Port signed an agreement with AMSteel, a company specialized in operating ports and handling steel shipments, in October 2017, appointing AMSteel as operator of the port’s first bulk and general cargo terminal berth for a period of 25 years.

Photo: King Abdullah Port appointed AMSteel as operator of the port's first bulk and general cargo terminal berth for a period of 25 years. Source: King Abdullah Port.