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Top 10 Port Projects

CW lists 10 of the most interesting ports projects within the GCC


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When it comes to big-budget construction projects, very few beat the scale and scope of major shipping port developments. With the possble excpetion of airport develpments, the scale of ports projects far excedes that of almost any other construction project.

The GCC has dozens of projects on the go at the moment - and all are designed to transform the Gulf in to a gloabl shipping hub for the international freight, trade and commerce.

Some projects are simply staggering in their size. The new Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone will cover an area of 420km2 when fully developed - and plans include a paper mill. aluminium plant, industrial city and sprawling residential area. Others are simply extensions to exisiting ports, while others, like the Boubyan Island, Kuwait are designed to transform the national economy with the anticipated rise in trade pouring through the port.

There's no doubt that the following ports, coupled with existing sea ports throughout the GCC and UAE, will make the region an attractive proposition for international sea freight.

The projects are listed in no particular order.

Al Duqm Port and Drydock
Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone
Boubyan Island, Kuwait
Sohar Industrial Port
Jeddah Islamic Port, Red Sea Gateway Terminal
Ras Laffan Port
New Doha Port
Fujairah Oil Terminal
Port of Salalah expansion
Development of Al-Ruwais Port

Next page: Al Duqm Port and Drydock

Al Duqm Port and Drydock
Oman’s move to improve its transport hubs is impressive, and none more so than the coastal town of Al Duqm where the port is currently undergoing a massive construction project to not only transform the port, but to also build a world-class, region rivalling dry-dock for ultra-large LPG tankers.

Khatib & Alami Consolidated Engineering Company was charged with the feasibility study for the port project, while a consortium of three companies (Jan De Nul, CCC and STFA Marine Construction Company) was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction project in 2007.

It’s a huge project: the contract called for the construction of the entire port complex, including the breakwaters and quay walls and the dredging of the access channel and harbour basin.

The Oman Drydock project is being handled by a joint venture between Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering and the government.The $800 million world-class ship repair facility is scheduled to be operational by March 2011 and will have the capacity to handle anything up to 600,000-tonne oil and gas supertankers. When fully on track, the Duqm Drydock will generate an anticipated $210 million in annual revenue and employ 3,500 people by 2020.

Location: Al Duqm, Oman
Project cost: $1.25bn
Project type: Construction
Scope of works: New port, breakwater and drydock
Client: Ministry of Transport and Communication
Main contractor: Jan De Nul, CCC and STFA Marine Construction (port), Daewoo Engineering and Contracting, and Galfar Engineering and Contracting (dry dock)
Completion due: Q2 2012

Next page: Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone

Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone
Built in five phases over a 20-year period, Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Port is the largest port development for the UAE. Aligned with the new 420km2 industrial zone, logistics, commercial, educational, and residential special economic and free zones, Khalifa Port’s future is rosy.

At the moment, Abu Dhabi’s main port, Mina Zayed, has 21 berths with 143km2 of covered warehousing and 20,000 tonnes of cold storage facilities.

The current port offers little room for expansion, so the new Khalifa Port, situated at Al-Taweelah north of the city, will take over once completed. Transfer of Mina Zayed’s operation is expected to take place at the end of 2012, while the phased project continues.

By 2030 the port will have 7.4km of quay for 22 container berths, 12.6km of quay for 63 general cargo and RO-RO berths, and 2.4km of quay for six dry bulk berths. This will accommodate 15 million TEU containerised cargo, 16 million tonnes of general and RO-RO cargo, and 25 million tonnes of dry bulk annually.

Initially, however, Khalifa Port will handle two million TEU (twenty foot equivalent units) and nine million tons of general cargo.

International Bechtel Company Limited (IBCLTD) was appointed as programme managers. Bechtel’s primary responsibility is for the management and co-ordination of the master planning, design and construction of the port and associated infrastructure.

Location: Abu Dhabi
Project cost: Not stated, but includes $1.5bn (dredging and reclamation); $380m (port and onshore facilities).
Project type: Major port development
Scope of works: Construction of port and industrial zone
Client: Abu Dhabi Ports Company
Completion due: Phase 1, 2012; total completion, Q1 2030

Next page: Boubyan Island, Kuwait

Boubyan Island, Kuwait
In the pipeline for quite some time, Kuwait’s Boubyan Island is one of the latest ports to appoint a major contractor to complete its works. The idea is to return Kuwait to its former glory as a regional shipping hub, and for Boubyan Island to act as a gateway to the Gulf state.

The $1.1billion development contract was signed by Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company and local firm the Kharafi Group in July this year to design and build the port.

The plan calls for 16 berths to be designed and an initial four berths to be up and running by 2015, while the staged development could see as many as 60 berths in operation on the island.

Dredging works are going to be a considerable part of the project. Depth at the basins of the port are projected at 16.5 metres, and navigation channels will be 14.5m deep.

The first phase of work is estimated to cost $410m and also includes the construction of a 30.30km two-way, six-lane road and foundation for 24km multitrack railways, which include a 1.42km road bridge and a 4.245km railway bridge across Subiya Straits, and the sub-works for soil foundation treatment below the roadbed. China Harbour Engineering Company and two local companies (GDC and SAC) have formed a JV for the initial contracts.

Location: Boubyan Island, Kuwait
Project cost: $410m (Phase 1 only)
Project type: Island port development
Scope of works: Harbour dredging and initial design of 16 berths
Main contractor: Hyundai Engineering and the Kharafi Group (port)
Completion due: December 2015

Next page: Sohar Industrial Port

Sohar Industrial Port
Industry drives port expansion and a US$1.35 billion project at the Port of Sohar has helped drive investment in to the northern Omani region.

The Port of Sohar underwent a major redevelopment in the early 2000s and late last year announced that it had signed three contracts for the financing and construction of a 1,380-metre long deep water jetty and port designed to cater for ships with drafts of up to 25 million.

Work on the new $1.4bn iron ore pelletising plant and distribution centre began last March by Brazilian mining conglomerate Vale. Van Oord, famous for its work on the Palm islands and The World in Dubai, will carry out dredging duties. A 50/50 joint venture between the Italian company SAIPEM, and AFCONS from India, will construct the jetty.

Location: Sohar, Oman
Project cost: $1.35bn
Project type: Jetty construction and dredging works
Scope of works: 1380m jetty construction; harbour dredging to 25m
Main contractor: SAIPEM and AFCONS (jetty), Van Oord (dredging)
Completion due: Q1 2011

Next page: Jeddah Islamic Port, Red Sea Gateway Terminal

Jeddah Islamic Port, Red Sea Gateway Terminal
Increased port traffic and extra tonnage means that the new terminal and three berths with a combined capacity of 1.5 TEUs and 400km2 storage area has been a welcome relief for the busy Saudi port.

Jeddah is the biggest container port on KSA’s west coast, and pressure on the facility increases every year. Around 73% of all shipping containers sent to the kingdom are processed at Jeddah – and the port has seen a 20% increase in total tonnage processed through the facility for the first six months of 2010.

The expansion project began in 2008 soon after China Harbour had been awarded the contract for civil works in late 2007. Halcrow was project consultant and Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery Company was awarded the equipment supplying contract. The first phase of the project opened in December 2009, and the terminal is due for completion later this year.

Six tandem-lift, Super Post-Panamax, 85-tonne ship-to-shore cranes, manufactured by ZPMC were commissioned earlier this year and join the 26 RTG Yard Cranes already at the port. Port authorities plan to build a fourth terminal at the site, increasing capacity by almost 60%.

Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Project cost: $510m
Project type: Construction/expansion
Scope of works: Terminal, 1.5m TEU storage
Client: Saudi Trade and Export Development
Main contractor: China Harbour
Completion due: 2010

Next page: Ras Laffan Port

Ras Laffan Port
Ras Laffan’s goals are fairly simple. As Qatar seeks to become one of the world’s leading exporters of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) by 2012, Ras Laffan – situated 80km north of the capital Doha, and close to the North Field Gas Reservoir – wants to become the world’s leading port for LNG.

It’s no mean feat. The port covers an area of 51km2 and substantially increases the amount of LPG the country will be able to export in future.

It includes five new LNG berths, 10 liquid product and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) berths, four small tanker berths, navy/coastguard and tug berths, container export berths plus onshore infrastructure.

The berths are designed to enable simultaneous berthing, mooring and loading of two vessels from 20,000 to 300,000 tonnes.

The development also includes a comprehensive dry dock and ship repair operation which was built by Daewoo E&C. Qatar Petroleum (QP) funded the land reclamation and construction of the project.

Location: Qatar
Project cost: $1.7bn
Project type: Port expansion
Scope of works: Major LNG port expansion project
Client: Qatar Petroleum
Main contractor: CCC/Six Construction
Completion due: Q4 2010

Next page: New Doha Port

New Doha Port
Doha’s new port is one of the largest and newest projects of its type in the GCC.

It’s intended that the new 20km2 port, to be constructed in Economic Zone 3, Al Wakra, will transform Doha’s shipping industry. It will include five general cargo terminals and berths, four container terminals and berths and a roll-on/roll-off berth, plus berthing for tug and pilot boats.

The project will begin in 2011 with the first phase operational in 2014. By then, the port will have a capacity of two million TEU per year – increasing considerably once the project is fully implemented in 2023.

AECOM was awarded a six-year, $149.3 million contract to provide program management services to the project in 2008.

Location: Qatar
Project cost: $7bn
Project type: Construction of 20km2 port complex
Scope of works: Construction of new port
Client: Doha port authority
Completion due: 2014 (Phase 1), 2023 (complete)

Next page: Fujairah Oil Terminal

Fujairah Oil Terminal
The UAE’s fifth largest emirate, Fujairah’s strategic location on the coast of Oman at the entrance to the Persian Gulf makes it a perfect spot for shipping operations.

Though the emirate isn’t huge, expansion of the port has been required to meet demand placed on the facility as a bunkering centre and regional trading hub.

An additional 600,000 cubic metres of storage has been allocated, expanding total storage capacity at the port to 2.1 million cubic metres when the project is completed in 2012.

The project includes 20 new tanks (ranging between 20,000 to 40,000m3), one new berth for ships up to 110,000 tonnes, another for vessels up to 60,000 tonnes, and six loading arms – three each for white and black goods.

Location: Fujairah, UAE
Project cost: $110m
Project type: Construction, engineering
Scope of works: Expansion of cargo terminal
Client: Vopak Horizon Fujairah
Completion due: Q1 2012

Next page: Port of Salalah expansion

Port of Salalah expansion
Sea freight through the Omani port of Salalah has almost tripled in the last decade which has prompted several port expansion projects over recent years.

The latest additions to the port, simply known as Terminal Two, will add three more berths to the existing six and 1,350 metres of quay wall, boosting the port’s capacity by three million TEU by 2012.

Terminal Two will handle general container freight, with the first berth, Berth 7 scheduled for completion during the first quarter of 2011. Berths 8 and 9 will follow in 2012.

The expansion project also calls for the construction of a new breakwater, a new liquids jetty and the related facilities. Bids have just closed for the work, and the port authority expects to announce contract winners soon.

Location: Salalah, Oman
Project cost: $500m
Project type: General cargo terminal
Scope of works: Expansion of container terminal
Client: Transport and Communications Ministry
Main contractor: TBA
Completion due: End 2012

Next page: Development of Al-Ruwais Port

Development of Al-Ruwais Port
Located about 120km north of Doha, Al Ruwais Port is designed to accommodate dhows, coastal trading vessels and a roll-on/roll-off passenger/car ferry, centring on general cargo, fruit and vegetables, livestock and building materials.

It may not be the largest port development underway in the region, but it’s no less important to the local economy.

The port currently caters for over 100 vessels, including fishing boats, customs and Ports General Authority (CPGA), Ministry of Interior and small leisure boats, and it will remain open while the new port is developed.

The work includes dredging of the 3km channel to five metres, while the port basin will be dredged to seven metres and the marina and fishing harbour to 2.5 metres.

Around 2.8 million cubic metres of mud, silt and sand will be removed during the process. It also includes the construction of block work quay walls, fenders, navigation aids, utilities and port furniture, floating pontoons, slipways, fuel storage tank and dispensers, and block paving.

There are also provisions for roads, sewerage, water and drainage works in the contract. The main construction contract was awarded to Consolidated Engineering Construction Company in May.

Location: Qatar
Project cost: $215m
Project type: Port development
Scope of works: Marine facilities, infrastructure
Client: Public Works Authority
Main contractor: Consolidated Engineering Construction Co.
Completion due: Q1 2013

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