Gulftainer acquires 51% stake in Gulf Stevedoring to manage Jeddah, Jubail ports

Updated 25 June 2013
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Gulftainer acquires 51% stake in Gulf Stevedoring to manage Jeddah, Jubail ports

Gulftainer, the Sharjah-based port management and logistics company, yesterday announced that it has acquired a 51 percent stake in Saudi Arabia’s Gulf Stevedoring Contracting Company (GSCCO), allowing it to assume the full management of three Saudi terminals, located in Jeddah and Jubail.
The acquisition makes Gulftainer the largest port operator in the Middle East with regards to the number of terminals operated in the region, with the company managing 40 percent of all the major container terminal facilities in the Middle East that have the capacity to handle ships of 12,000 TEU or greater in size, and 45 percent of all major port capacity outside of the Strait of Hormuz.
At the Jeddah Islamic Port, Gulftainer will operate the Northern Container Terminal (NCT) on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, and Jubail Commercial Port (JCP) and Jubail Industrial Port (JIP) on the east coast. Both Jeddah and Jubail are key growth areas in the country with strong, positive economic forecasts, following massive government investments in infrastructure.
Jubail in particular is seen as critical to economic development within the Kingdom, and the government recently invested SR 800 million ($ 215 million) in its two facilities to increase its capacity and cope with the growing flow of cargo. In recent years, the government has also confirmed investments in excess of SR 480 billion ($ 129 billion) in energy and infrastructure projects in the surrounding region, which in turn is expected to spur massively increasing terminal activity.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, chairman of Gulf Stevedoring Company, said: "We are delighted to be partnering with Gulftainer and look forward to continuing to strengthen the relationship in the coming years. The Saudi economy is one of the strongest economies in the world thanks to the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah. These three ports will be expanding significantly and the expertise that Gulftainer brings with it to Gulf Stevedoring and Contracting Company will be invaluable."
Speaking on the acquisition, Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises and vice chairman of the Gulftainer Group, commented; "We are very proud of our Sharjah and UAE heritage and home-grown expertise. Saudi Arabia’s growth makes it an extremely fast-paced, exciting market and I am confident that Gulftainer’s proven track record in this sector will further serve and support the evolution and development of the port and logistics sector in the Kingdom in the coming years. We are honored to partner with Gulf Stevedoring, and together we can offer a uniquely private-sector and genuinely objective approach toward port management and logistics in the country."
Peter Richards, group managing director, Gulftainer, said, "This is an exciting time for Gulftainer as we increase our footprint across the Middle East. The industry here is growing at a rapid pace and with this acquisition we have laid a strong foundation for the company’s future not just regionally but on a global level. The road ahead is one that we look to with optimism and ensure that we are well prepared to stay ahead of the trends and deliver exceptional results for our clients."
Gulftainer was established in Sharjah in 1976, and is a subsidiary of Crescent Enterprises which is a UAE-based conglomerate operating globally across multiple sectors, including power and engineering, aviation, health care, and private equity. Gulftainer launched the first dedicated container terminal in the UAE’s Port Khaled in Sharjah.
Gulftainer has grown significantly, regionally and internationally, and now has established ports and logistics operations across the UAE, Iraq, Russia, Lebanon and Brazil, as well as joint ventures in Turkey and Pakistan, and also operates international freight forwarding and project logistics. Gulftainer also managed 50 million tons of cargo through its directly owned and managed facilities.
Jeddah’s NCT has recently undergone significant expansion, which will substantially improve the capability of Jeddah Islamic Port. The facility currently consists of 1,654 m of quay, 11 cranes, seven of which are super post panamax cranes, with an annual capacity of three million TEUs. Almost 75 percent of all container traffic to the Kingdom is currently handled through the Port of Jeddah, and it is a major trade gateway for the Kingdom’s container traffic.
Located on the Arabian Gulf, Jubail is home to the development of the largest industrial zone in the world covering 8,000 hectares, comprising petrochemical plants, fertilizer plants, steel works, and an industrial port as well as the world’s largest desalination plant. Jubail Port is one of the largest industrial ports in the world and currently handles 52 million tons of cargo per annum, a figure which is expected to grow substantially in the short to medium-term.
JCP is equipped with a 1,282 m quay, five cranes and has a container handling capacity of 1 million TEU per annum. It is expected that this figure will continue to increase quickly, particularly with the opening of major petrochemical developments in the Jubail Industrial Zone and the planned rail link to Riyadh. GSCCO currently operates 22 commercial berths at the port, including the open sea tanker terminal.


‘Fuel of the future’ comes of age as Aramco opens first hydrogen filling station

Updated 17 June 2019
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‘Fuel of the future’ comes of age as Aramco opens first hydrogen filling station

  • Fatih Birol’s comments were a deliberate poke at those experts who think that the sheer logistics of hydrogen make it always an unlikely solution to global energy challenges
  • Birol’s article was followed by a report from the IEA that put some meat on the bones of the argument that hydrogen is key to solving problems such as global warming

DUBAI: Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, cracked a joke in the Financial Times a couple of weeks ago.
“Hydrogen is the fuel of the future, and it always will be,” he wrote about the fuel that many experts agree could hold the key to the world’s energy problems.
It was a deliberate poke at those experts who think that the sheer logistics of hydrogen — generation, storage, and transportation — make it always an unlikely solution to global energy challenges.
Birol’s article was followed by a report from the IEA that put some meat on the bones of the argument that hydrogen is key to solving such problems as global warming and environmental degradation.
“The world has an important opportunity to tap into hydrogen’s vast potential to become a critical part of a more sustainable and secure energy future … The world should not miss this unique chance to make hydrogen an important part of our clean and secure energy future,” the report said.
That argument will get a critical boost today, when Saudi Aramco, the biggest oil company in the world, opens its first hydrogen fueling station in Dhahran Techno Valley, in the heart of the Kingdom’s oil producing region.
Aramco has partnered with Air Products, a US company that has been a pioneer in the use of industrial gases, to produce a filling station for hydrogen-fueled vehicles.

 

It is very much a test. “The collected data during this pilot phase of the project will provide valuable information for the assessment of future applications of this emerging transport technology in the local environment,” Aramco said when the project was first announced.
But it is something Aramco has been investigating for a long time. Ahmed Al-Khowaiter, Aramco’s chef technology officer, said: “The use of hydrogen derived from oil or gas to power fuel cell electric vehicles represents an exciting opportunity to expand the use of oil in clean transport.”
Hydrogen — essentially what is left when you take the oxygen out of water — has been recognized as a potential fuel source for many decades. Motor manufacturers developed a hydrogen motor engine 50 years ago, but the ease and accessibility of hydrocarbon fuels — oil, gas and coal — made it uneconomic to develop this technology beyond the prototype stage.
Now, as the debate over the role of hydrocarbons in the global environmental balance has become ever more intense, some experts, including Birol and other influential parts of the thought-leadership establishment, believe hydrogen is the next Big Thing in global energy trends.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) said recently that “green” hydrogen offers a solution to the world energy challenge, and that is the problem the theoreticians are struggling with: Hydrogen is released naturally in the process of burning hydrocarbons, but it is self-defeating, in an environmental sense. if you have to burn oil, gas or coal to produce it.
On the other hand, renewable sources, like sun, wind and water, do not produce enough hydrogen to be practically or commercially viable, and not at the right times, when people actually need it.
But, as the WEF noted recently “low-cost green hydrogen is coming”, as technology advances mean the cost of renewable energy falls dramatically each year. The Middle East already has a very big and very cost-efficient program for solar energy generation.
The other challenges lay in how to store and transport hydrogen. It can be loaded onto a tanker like LNG, or pushed through pipelines, but it would require a huge investment to change current logistics systems — essentially designed for oil and LNG — to handle hydrogen.
Many countries, including Saudi Arabia, already have the infrastructure associated with oil and gas refining and petrochemicals production to be able to equip “hydrogen hubs,” as long as there is government will and commercial incentive to do so.
For the Kingdom, it looks like a no-brainer for the future. As Birol said: “So, hydrogen offers tantalising promises of cleaner industry and emissions-free power. Turning it into energy produces only water, not greenhouse gases. It’s also the most abundant element in the universe. What’s not to like?”

FACTOID

Technological advances mean low-cost ‘green’ hydrogen offers a solution to the world energy challenge, according to the World Economic Forum.