Riyadh dry port to be privatized

Updated 24 June 2013
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Riyadh dry port to be privatized

The Saudi Railway Organization (SRO) is to develop the dry port in Riyadh which has been under great pressure recently due to increased numbers of incoming containers and limited space.
In May, the port witnessed its largest number of incoming containers since its establishment.
An official source said the infrastructure of the dry port will be rebuilt, a move that will raise capacity and increase efficiency in handling large numbers of containers. He said the port will be privatized and that returns will be shared between the operating contractor and the SRO.
SRO chief Mohammad Al-Suwaikit said the dry port will witness huge developments in the near future. The current contract includes developing the port’s infrastructure according to the highest international standards.
The contractor will also replace dirt ground with concrete, build new administrative offices, import state-of-the-art equipment and attract expertise to facilitate handling.
“I personally aim to transfer the dry port to a more developed level by raising its capacity to take in more containers and increase the efficiency of the handling process so that it can handle more containers in record times. This will play an important role in pushing the wheels of progress forward now and in the future,” he said.
Al-Suwaikit said the SRO will play a major role in developing the dry port and that this will begin with transporting loaded containers from Dammam to Riyadh on trains each day. Exported or empty containers will then be sent back to Dammam.
SRO’s remit includes managing the port and empty container yards in Dammam and working in partnership with the contracting company. The port is also home to a number of relevant governmental and nongovernmental organizations that are contributing to its development and overcoming possible obstacles.
During May, the dry port saw its highest number of incoming containers since its establishment in 1982, handling 26,840 TEU containers. Al-Suwaikit said that the volume of handled containers — whether they were incoming, equipped for custom’s inspections, received, empty containers from Riyadh and empty containers delivered to Dammam — reached 126,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
“These didn’t come by chance. They resulted from careful planning and teamwork in addition to aspiring for the best and striving to achieve one’s goals,” he said. “I am confident this number will not be the highest for a long time. We hope to reach higher figures because of the port’s quick and speedy development and the rising efficiency of its operations.”
Speaking about the organization’s plans to deal with the large number of incoming containers, Al-Suwaikit said the port’s space is not that big in comparison to other ports. It is the third largest after the Jeddah Islamic Port and King Abdul Aziz Port in relation to incoming containers. Through the new contract, the SRO plans to increase the port’s capacity by using vertical storage. This will increase its capacity threefold.
The SRO is also to add an extra yard for empty containers and move the empty container yard to another area. This will also increase capacity.
The SRO is also expanding according to a strategy that will connect industrial cities with the railway line as soon as this is feasible. Coordination with relevant bodies is now under way.
Al-Suwaikit said the current usage of trucks between Dammam and Riyadh has its disadvantages. Because of the large number of trucks, there is always a risk of accidents and loss of life. “SRO transports goods by train which conserves human and material resources, reduces congestion on roads and saves maintenance expenses,” he said.
“The port offers distinctive services with high operational standards. Larger numbers of containers are handled in record times.”


Crown prince says Saudi investments in India to reach $100bn

Updated 10 min 35 sec ago
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Crown prince says Saudi investments in India to reach $100bn

  • Mohammed bin Salman says value of investments to increase rapidly over next two years
  • Modi praised relations between the two countries after signing cooperation agreements

DUBAI: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Wednesday he expected Saudi Arabia’s investments in India will be worth $100 billion in the next two years.

During a press conference with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the crown prince said the Kingdom had invested $10 billion in technology and small companies in India which had “achieved very remarkable returns.”

Speaking on the second day of hist India visit, and after the signing of five agreements with Modi, the crown prince also said that there were many opportunities for India in Saudi Arabia.

“We expect that the opportunity we are developing in India in many fields will exceed 100 billion dollars over the next two years,” Prince Mohammed said. “We want to work as two governments to ensure these investments and achieve beneficial returns for both countries. 

“We also hope that relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and India will contribute to providing more opportunities for Indian laborers and manpower to contribute to the future of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and building the Kingdom's Vision 2030.”

The crown prince spoke of the depth and history of relations between the two countries, acknowledging the role Indian labor and businesses had played in the Kingdom’s development.

He also said the economic partnerships were grounded in the two nation’s similar challenges - “extremism, terrorism and the security of the Indian Ocean.”

He said Modi’s visit to the Kingdom in 2016 had achieved investments worth $44 billion in refining and petrochemicals.

The two countries planned to expand India’s oil storage capacity to make India an “important regional center in distributing oil and its products.”

The crown prince and Modi earlier oversaw the signing of agreements in the fields of investment, tourism, housing and information and broadcasting.

The crown prince arrived in India after a two-day trip to Pakistan as part of a tour of Asia.

Earlier he attended a ceremonial welcome in New Delhi after landing in the country on Tuesday evening.