JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA — The Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) has awarded a pair of contracts worth $171 million to deepen and build new berths at Jeddah Islamic Port as it strives to develop the seaport and Saudi Arabia as a major global maritime logistics hub.

The contract with Modern Building Leaders (MBL), in association with Huta Hegerfeld Saudia Ltd., will deepen harbor approach channels, turning basins, waterways and the South Terminal basin. These upgrades will enable the arrival of vessels that hold a capacity up to 24,000, 20-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) and are expected to enhance the port’s competitiveness while attracting new global shipping lines. 

The contract with PC Marine Services, new berths (#26 to #31) measuring 16 meters deep and 1,100 meters long will be built at the multi-cargo terminals to receive large bulk grain carriers, accommodate larger vessels to cover the local market demand, secure the countries strategic grain reserves through higher imports, and boost overall food security through Jeddah Islamic Port.

With four terminals and 62 berths, the port receives around 5,000 vessels of all kinds every year. The facility also has bulk grain terminal, grain, flour and rice mills. AJWA Port Services has managed and operated the bulk handling terminal of Jeddah Islamic Port for 11 years and has handled more than 35 million tonnes of grain during this period.

Jeddah Islamic Port, which was ranked eighth in the 2021 World Bank’s Container Port Performance Index, is located along busy global shipping lines connecting three continents making it the Red Sea’s top port for transit trade and transshipment of container and cargo.