Global terminal operator, Hutchison Ports, has entered into two long term agreements to run port facilities in the UAE in recent weeks.
In the first, the Government of Ras Al Khaimah has concluded a 25 year concession agreement with the company, under which Hutchison will operate and develop Saqr Port’s container terminal facilities. Speaking at a ceremony to mark the event, His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, a Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, said: “Hutchison Ports RAK and its plans for future development of the Saqr Port facilities are a key piece in our logistics strategy which will encourage those with interest to make the commitment to Ras Al Khaimah. This partnership is one more indicator that Ras Al Khaimah is committed to offering the infrastructure, services and skilled workforce that allows commerce and industry to thrive in the Emirate.”
The Saqr Port container terminal will be operated by Hutchison Ports RAK, and comprises a four berth facility, with an annual capacity of around 350,000 teu a year, that features an 800m long quay with a depth of 12m metres, in addition to a 20 hectare container stacking yard.
Hutchison Ports’ Group Managing Director, Eric Ip, said at the ceremony, “We are excited to have the opportunity to invest and operate a container terminal facility that is situated in a gateway location and is home to the world’s largest ceramics manufacturer. Ras Al Khaimah has a strong export base, with many fine shippers of ceramics, pharmaceuticals, glass, cement, crushed rock and other products. These companies can now take advantage of a less congested and more sustainable multimodal shipping route to Jebel Ali and beyond.”
The Hutchison Ports RAK terminal neighbours the RAK Maritime City Free Zone, and is well positioned with respect to the industrial areas and free zones at Al Hamra and Al Ghail.
Saqr Port is Ras Al Khaimah’s primary commercial port and is in the process of having its overall capacity significantly increased. In a two-phase project scheduled to be completed in April 2019, two deep water berths are being added capable of handling capesize vessels. The project will make Saqr Port one of the largest bulk-handling ports in the Middle East.
In addition Hutchison Ports has secured a concession from the Government of Umm Al Quwain to operate Ahmed Bin Rashid Port in the northern Emirates. The Hong Kong-based port operator will run the facility, which has four berths and an 845m long quay, under the name of Hutchison Ports UAQ. With good road connections to the northern UAE, and in close proximity to regional trade lanes, the facility is poised for significant growth, Hutchison Ports believes.