Sunday, May 3, 2009

New port terminal to be ready by October

By Muhammad Humaidan
JEDDAH: Mazen Mohammed Matar, CEO of Red Sea Gateway Terminal Company, said the new terminal would increase Jeddah Islamic Port’s capacity by 45 percent. The new facility would be operational by October this year with half capacity.

The terminal is designed to handle 1.5 million containers annually. “Our desire is to complete the project with all related aspects including linkage with Jeddah city and the port,” he said. “We have prepared three studies, including a traffic study on linking the terminal with the port and the city. We have passed these studies to the concerned authorities,” he said.

A committee comprising representatives of different departments, such as municipality and the Traffic Department, has approved a number of proposals made in that study to serve Jeddah for the next 30 years. “The study has taken into consideration the roads around the port including traffic intersections, up to the borders of Andalus district,” he said.

It has also taken into consideration peak traffic hours and the effect of entry and exit of containers to and from the port as well as high seasons such as Haj and Umrah.

The second study deals with linking the Red Sea Gateway with the railway land bridge project. The third study focuses on the project’s effect on Jeddah’s environment during construction work and after operation in order to avoid any negative effect on marine life.

“There is good cooperation between the company and the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment in this respect,” Matar said.

All agencies working on the project performed well last year, he said. “As a result the project was able to report big successes despite the global financial crisis,” he said.

He said the impact of the global financial crisis and the rise in construction and equipment cost did not prevent the company to fulfill its commitment toward the state and carry out its work systematically.

“All preparations are being made for the launch of the gateway terminal, including work in the sea. A 16.5-meter deep canal has been built in order to accommodate large container ships. In addition, there is a marine wharf with a depth of 18 meters and eight cranes are being erected. Four of these cranes will be operational in the first phase and they are equal to the ones in Shanghai and can carry four containers at a time,” he said.

Matar praised the cooperation of different government departments with the project’s management. “The project provides all facilities to agencies working in the terminal, including customs, laboratories and clearing offices,” he said.

The CEO said despite the smallness of space given for the project the terminal is designed to ensure quality of work in the future. “If situations are suitable our company would not hesitate to construct more terminals,” he said.

Source : Arab News

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