The new $510-million Red Sea Gateway Terminal at Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Islamic Port marked its opening with its first call by a container vessel, the Al Muttanabi with a capacity of 3,802 20-foot equivalent units.
The vessel is part of United Arab Shipping’s MINA Service connecting the Indian Subcontinent, the Middle East, the West Mediterranean and the U.S. East Coast.
“This maiden call represents the start of a new era for JIP as a transshipment hub on the Red Sea. With the launch of RSGT’s commercial operations, the annual capacity of JIP is estimated to increase by 45 percent,” the terminal operator said in a statement.
Equipped with modern equipment, comprising six new super post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes with twin-lift capabilities and a lifting capacity of 85 metric tons, supplemented by 20 advanced rubber-tired gantry cranes, and 18-meter draft, the terminal offers an annual capacity of 1.8 million 20-foot equivalent units.
RSGT, the first build-operate-transfer port development project in the country, is a joint venture between Saudi Industrial Services Company, Saudi Trade & Export Development Company, Xenel Industries Limited and Malaysia’s MMC Corporation. It is expected to be fully operational during the third quarter of this year.
Jeddah Port is the largest container gateway in Saudi Arabia, moving nearly 75 percent of the country’s total containerized traffic. In 2008, consolidated throughput at the two existing terminals increased to 3.3 million TEUs from 3 million TEUs the previous year. Volume was expected to fall back to 3 million TEUs in 2009.