Saqr Port Authority, which manages the largest bulk-handling port in the Middle East, has signed a deal with German machinery manufacturer Liebherr Maritime for two LHM 800 mobile harbour cranes.
The deal has been struck in support of Saqr Port Authority’s plans to establish new berths which will significantly increase the capacity of Saqr Port. The additional capacity is required as demand for import / export movements through the Port has steadily grown in recent years.
Captain Cliff Brand, RAK Ports general manager, commented, “The new mobile harbour cranes will help Saqr Port further improve our bulk handling efficiency and contribute to the expansion of our service portfolio to include Capesize class vessels, which is very important for the future strategy and development of our port.”
RAK Ports in total handles in excess of 60 million tonnes of cargo annually, the majority of which is moved through Saqr Port. The port mainly handles limestone and aggregates, destined for construction projects within the Middle East.
In addition, RAK Ports has signed a contract with the Damen Shipyards Group for the delivery of a new ASD 2913 tug. The vessel will be built a short distance away at Albwardy Damen in Sharjah and will be delivered in time for the opening of the new bulk terminal at Saqr Port in mid-2018.
Damen’s regional sales team worked closely with Saqr Port to determine the class of tug that would be most suitable for its requirements. The need was for a vessel that is both compact and powerful, so as to be able to handle the large carriers at the new terminal and work within the confines of the harbour. At the same time, the proximity of the Hajar Mountains means that the port can experience sudden and very strong winds. The ASD 2913 was ultimately selected, due to having all the necessary attributes, including 80 tonnes of bollard pull within a compact 29m hull, as well as a high freeboard and a raised quarterdeck for safe operations in rough seas.
“We are delighted to be building for the UAE, in the UAE,” says Pascal Slingerland, sales manager, Middle East, for Damen. “Albwardy Damen continues to go from strength-to-strength, providing a comprehensive newbuild and repair service to the UAE and the wider Arabian Gulf, and it is our pleasure to be working with our near-neighbours at Saqr Port.”
Alongside this latest order Albwardy Damen, until recently known as Damen Shipyards Sharjah, is also currently building three large rotor tugs and a self-propelled jack-up barge, as well as some smaller ASD tugs and cutter suction dredgers.