RIYADH: Abdul Rahman Al-Fadhli, minister of environment, water and agriculture, sponsored the inauguration ceremony of the National Grain Co., a strategic partnership between the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co. (SALIC), and the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri).
With an estimated total cost of SR412 million ($109.8 million) in phase 1, the project aims to meet the future demand for major grains in the Kingdom.
The announcement ceremony was held at the headquarters of the Environment Ministry, under the patronage of Al-Fadhli, in the presence of Ahmed Al-Faris, governor of the Saudi Grains Organization, Mohammed Al-Sarhan, chairman of Bahri, Sulaiman Al-Rumaih, CEO of SALIC, and Abdullah Al-Dubaikhi, CEO of Bahri.
This partnership aims to oversee the trade, handling, and storage of grains between sources in all regions of the Black Sea, Europe, South America, and the Red Sea regions, contributing to the process of import, transportation, distribution, and storage.
The project will start with a capacity of about 3 million tons per year by 2022, to gradually increase to 5 million tons per year. The new terminal, which will be built according to the highest international standards, will enable the rapid handling of grains and fodder.
Al-Fadhli said: “This company will play a major role in strengthening supply chains in the Kingdom, as it will lead to the building of the largest regional center for grains. The new terminal will enhance food
distribution solutions in the region by importing, processing, exporting, and storing grains to the Kingdom, thanks in part to the strategic location of Yanbu Commercial Port.”
Al-Sarhan said: “Our work at Bahri balances demand and supply, harnessing big data to efficiently manage and streamline our fleet operations. Today, we are seizing new expansion opportunities in cooperation with economic entities in the Kingdom to diversify our offerings and provide value-added services, in addition to the development of our main business sectors.
“Over the years, we have made great efforts to contribute to national food security by transporting nearly 1.5 million tons of grains annually to the Kingdom through our fleet of five dry-bulk carriers. With the addition of four new carriers before the end of this year, Bahri will be able to transport 5 million tons of dry food and various grains, including barley, corn, wheat, soy, and others, annually, to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”