Global port operator Gulftainer’s subsidiary in Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday it invested $50 million to further expand operations at Jubail Commercial Port (JCP) and boost its handling capacity to 1.8 million TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units) in a bid to diversify local operations.
The expansion work undertaken by the Gulf Stevedoring Contracting Company (GSCCO) includes the installation of additional assets and equipment at the port, a revamp of the port's IT system and other dredging works.
The company “is proud to continue to support the transformation that Jubail Commercial Port has undergone since we first started handling operations, and we look forward to expanding further to support major exporters and importers and the greater city of Jubail”, Jason French, the managing director of GSCCO, said.
The new expansion works at the port are expected to contribute more than $100m to Jubail’s gross domestic product as trade is expected to pick up due to higher handling capacity.
Saudi Arabia is investing heavily in a number of new infrastructure projects to diversify its economy away from oil as part of the Vision 2030 programme. The country is building new passenger rail networks as well as a brand new airport for Riyadh to boost its infrastructure and attract more tourists to the kingdom.
“While this investment solves the medium-term logistic issues, GSCCO is discussing further development of the JCP, supporting the expansion of Jubail and Raz Al Khair and the transformation of the kingdom as a global hub connecting Asia, Europe and Africa,” the company said.
The Gulftainer subsidiary has been active in Saudi Arabia since 2008 and has developed the Jubail port, increasing its capacity from 50,000 TEUs to 700,000 TEUs before the recent investment.
Gulftainer is a privately owned, independent port management and logistics company based in the UAE. It also has operations in Iraq and the US in addition to the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports rose 52 per cent during the second quarter amid signs of a rebound in international trade and as the kingdom's economy continues to recover from the pandemic-induced headwinds.
The total value of exports for the three-month period to the end of June increased to 238.6 billion Saudi riyals ($63.62bn), the Saudi Press Agency said last month, citing a new report from the kingdom's General Authority for Statistics.