By ROGER HARRISON | ARAB NEWS
JEDDAH: Two giant quayside container cranes and six mobile container cranes arrived at the 500,000 sq-meter Red Sea Gate Terminal (RSGT) quay last week.
The quayside cranes (QC), capable of 24 stacking containers across on a vessel, together with the six tandem lift steerable machines (RTG), boost the total number of QCs to eight and RTGs to 26.
Manufactured by Zhenhua Port Machinery Company, the cranes feature the latest technology such as crane monitoring systems and single and twin-container lifting capacity.
"To date the RSGT is squarely on track as planned with its equipment schedule," said CEO Aamer Alireza, commenting on the arrival of the latest machines.
"Put simply, we are investing in the economic futures of Jeddah and Saudi Arabia.
"RSGT's strategy is to spearhead the development of the maritime and logistics sector, ensuring Jeddah Islamic Port's (JIP) infrastructure and our own operations keeps pace with market growth."
Saudi Arabia, the Middle East's biggest economy, has fared relatively well in the global financial turmoil, supported by a mix of strong oil prices that in turn has boosted consumer confidence and trade.
RSGT is the only terminal at JIP designed to accommodate the next generation of super-mega vessels of 13,000+ TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units) by means of its dedicated navigation 300-meter wide channel and deep-water berth up to 18 meters.
It will add an annual capacity of up to two million TEU's annually to the existing port.
The total investment in the world-class greenfield facility, constructed under a BOT with the Saudi Sea Port Authority, has reportedly exceeded SR190 billion ($510 million).
Commercial operations started at the terminal in the last quarter of 2009, with full operations scheduled by the same period this year.
The terminal's home port was recently ranked four stars, putting it in the same league as many of the world's leading ports in terms of efficiency of cargo handling, port fees, information services, problem-solving and application of global standards.
"Since our warmly welcomed emergence on the maritime scene, many significant events have taken place. First and foremost, the figures of container trade coming out of Saudi today mirror our predictions. The country has fared better than most with an upward trend in containerization," said Alireza.