The Saudi Ports Authority, better known as Mawani, has signed two contracts worth 642 million Saudi riyals ($171.2m) to deepen and build berths at the Jeddah Islamic Port.
The kingdom is focused on developing its maritime infrastructure to boost trade.
The authority signed the deals with PC Marine Services and Modern Building Leaders (MBL) consortium consisting of Huta Hegerfeld Saudia to develop the port along the Red Sea, the kingdom’s state-run Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.
The agreements are “part of Mawani’s initiatives to accelerate growth in the maritime transport and logistics industry, drive a transformative shift in port operations by implementing over 160 projects, and develop a prosperous and sustainable maritime sector in the quest to position the kingdom as a global logistics hub connecting three major continents in line with the objectives of the National Transport and Logistics Strategy”, the report said.
The National Transport and Logistics Strategy launched last year is in line with the Saudi Vision 2030.
The contract with MBL aims at deepening harbour approach channels to accommodate vessels with capacity of up to 24,000 20-foot equivalent units and attract shipping lines to Jeddah.
The PC Marine Services contract, meanwhile, is for building berths measuring 16 metres deep and 1,100 metres long to “receive large bulk grain carriers, accommodate larger vessels to cover the local market demand, secure the kingdom’s strategic grain reserves through higher imports, and boost overall food security through Jeddah Islamic Port”, the SPA report said.
Saudi Arabia is diversifying its economy away from oil as part of its Vision 2030 programme. The kingdom is developing projects across sectors including real estate, infrastructure, petrochemicals, transport and hospitality to attract investment and boost employment.
The Arab world's largest economy is forecast to be a vital driver of global trade growth, with its exports projected to expand at an average annual rate of more than 7 per cent to $354 billion by 2030, Standard Chartered said earlier this year.
The Saudi Ports Authority is also partnering with DP World to build a “port-centric” logistics park at the Jeddah Islamic Port with a total investment of more than 500m riyals.