07/02/2014 08:26 AST

Saudi seaports play a significant role in boosting the Kingdom’s economic progress and handle 520 million tons of goods and 12 million containers annually, said Transport Minister Jabara Al-Seraisry. They have a total of 220 wharfs, he added.

Addressing a ceremony marking the launch of about 60 projects worth SR2.31 billion in Yanbu by Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman, the minister said Saudi ports have been attracting international shipping lines.

Prince Faisal pressed an electronic button to launch the projects. He also watched a documentary on the performance of the King Fahd Industrial Port and Yanbu Commercial Port. The new projects launched by Prince Faisal included those related to expansion of the two ports, the minister said, adding that the projects would contribute to boosting the Kingdom’s exports.

The government has spent SR1.11 billion on the two ports while the remaining projects launched by the governor would cost SR1.2 billion. The commercial port has nine wharfs while the King Fahd port has 24 wharfs with a capacity to handle 140 million tons.

Efforts are underway to add six more wharfs to King Fahd port to increase its capacity to 180 million tons, Al-Seraisry said.

“Saudi ports play a big role in the Kingdom’s industrial and commercial development and exporting oil and petroleum products,” he said.

The new projects included manufacturing and importing of two multipurpose tugboats, construction of new roads, security systems, fire-fighting systems and maintenance contracts.

Prince Faisal opened a new passenger lounge at the commercial port, an observation tower and expansion of the Civil Defense Department in addition to 12 investment projects for the private sector.

Arab News

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