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  • Writer's pictureFirst Port Global (FPG)

Gulftainer out of Jeddah

Gulftainer has lost its concession to operate the North Container Terminal at the Port of Jeddah.

The Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) has awarded new 30-year Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) concessions for the container terminals located in in both the north and south parts of the port of Jeddah. The deal will result in more than US$2.5B being invested in the complex.

While DP World continues as the operator of the South ContainerTerminal (SCT), Sharjah-based Gulftainer has lost its concession for the North Container Terminal. Instead, Mawani has given Red Sea Gateway Terminal permission to expand its operations into the former Gulftainer facility, which is adjacent to RSGT’s existing operation.

DP World will invest US$500M in the facility by modernising operations, developing infrastructure and acquiring equipment do that ULCV tonnage of 23,000 TEU carrying capacity can be accommodated. Overall, SCT’s annual throughput capacity will be increased from 2.4M TEU currently to 3.6M TEU.

As the main trade destination for Saudi Arabia and one of the Kingdom’s major port privatisation projects, the new terminal will also have an upgraded capacity of 3.6M TEU up from 2.4M TEU, to meet the expected growth demands of the future, and will provide 1,400 jobs.

Commenting on the new arrangements, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World, said: “Our ambition is to develop inland connectivity across the peninsula between Jeddah and Jebel Ali port in Dubai, as well as to Saudi Arabia’s cities through smart technology-led logistics, which should support further growth in this strategic hub that connects east-to-west.”

RSGT is to invest an estimated US$1.7B to further expand its own terminal and modernise and integrate its operations into the site formerly occupied by Gulftainer.

“We are very pleased to announce this exciting new phase of RSGT’s strategic growth plan,” said the company’s CEO Jens Floe. “This [new concession] is a great success story for both Mawani and RGST and it fully reflects the trust of the port authority and the ongoing commitment of RSGT to the region, and the international shipping industry.”

He explained that under phase one of the new development plan, RSGT would provide the port with 2,600m of berth and 1.5M m2 of land area.

The latest BOT concessions awarded by Mawani will result in Jeddah’s design throughput capacity rising to 8M TEU a year. In 2018, just over 4.1M TEU was handled with this year expected to be up on that figure.

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