UAE's Saqr Port keen to expand Volvo CE fleet

"You’ll see more Volvo machines at Saqr Port," general manager says, remarking on the machines supporting building material transfers to Qatar and India from the UAE

Volvo CE's machines are employed at UAE's Saqr Port. [Image: volvospiritmagazine.com]
Volvo CE's machines are employed at UAE's Saqr Port. [Image: volvospiritmagazine.com]

Throughput at Ras Al Khaimah's Saqr Port has increased by 100% in two years, following the acquisition of Volvo L350F wheel loaders in the country. 

The port, which handles commodities such as clinker, silica, sand, coal, cement, aggregates, and limestone, boasts an occupancy rate of 85% of its 12 berths over a year-round operation.

The port's general manager, Captain Colin Crookshank, told Volvo Construction Equipment's (Volvo CE) in-house publication, Spirit, about the largest destination for vessels leaving Saqr Port.

“With the growth of infrastructure development in Qatar we have witnessed a real upsurge in demand for aggregates from here in the UAE,” Capt. Crookshank said. 

“Limestone in the northern Emirates is of extraordinarily high purity and a much sought after commodity, particularly in steel manufacturing. Consequently, much of the Indian steel industry’s limestone [also] comes through this facility,” he added. 

Speaking about the port's equipment roster, Capt. Crookshank added: “Historically, Saqr Port had Volvo L150 wheel loaders in its fleet – purchased around 1992/1993 and still running today with over 50,000 hours on the clock – but in recent decades bigger machines from other manufacturers took hold.”

The port trialled a Volvo L350F for a month in 2012, and through FAMCO, the Volvo CE dealer in the UAE, a second L350F was followed by a third in June last year.

Equipped with 6.8m³ rock buckets, the L350F wheel loaders now work 22 hours every day. 

“I am extremely impressed with the performance and the rate of work,” Capt. Crookshank continued.

“Essentially, each L350F replaces two other machines so are kinder to the environment while making the site even safer, thanks in part to less vehicle movement and also to the enhanced safety features that are standard on Volvo CE machines. 

“Another key element that we’ve noticed with the Volvo wheel loaders is that there’s less degradation of the material than we’ve experienced with other wheel loaders. This is critical for a business such as ours where we should strive every day to reduce, and ideally eradicate, any damage to the materials we’re handling.

"So far, all three L350Fs have run like clockwork and we’ve had no problems whatsoever, despite them always being in use, either loading cargo or clearing berths," Capt. Crookshank added.

"I certainly believe you’ll see more Volvo machines at Saqr Port."

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