Saudi Global Ports (SGP) marked the start of its civil works upgrade to develop both container terminals at King Abdulaziz Port Dammam (KAPD) with a groundbreaking ceremony last week. At the event, the terminal also celebrated its latest productivity achievement with the handling of more than two million 20-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in 2022.
SGP, Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Huawei Technologies also took the opportunity to announce the completion of 5G proof-of-concepts which had started in March 2022 as part of the Smart Ports initiative launched by the Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI).
Key developments in the first of four phases of civil works will include the upgrade of berths, infrastructure and facilities in Terminal 1, expansion of existing berths and accompanying yard development at terminal 2, and the construction of a three-hectare SGP SandboX. The upgrade and expansions will allow SGP to accommodate more vessels and larger vessels, supporting the industry’s move towards mega container ships and in preparation for Saudi Arabia’s continued economic growth.
SGP SandboX will be a dedicated space for SGP to trial new equipment and technologies, including 5G proof-of-concepts (POCs) that will enhance the future-readiness and operational efficiency of SGP and KAPD.
SGP, STC and Huawei announced the completion of the 5G Smart Ports POCs in Smart CCTV, Smart Tally (containers and prime movers number recognition), remote operation of Automated Rubber Tyre Gantry (ARTG) Cranes, and remote image capture for safer forklift usage. SGP is the first 5G Smart Port in Saudi Arabia and the first seaport in the Middle East to trial remote-controlled ARTGs.
Chairman of the Board for Saudi Global Ports Mr Abdulla Zamil expressed SGP’s gratitude for the close partnership with Saudi government authorities, including MAWANI, King Abdulaziz Port and Saudi Customs. This has enabled SGP to work towards realising the Kingdom’s vision for the ports and logistics sector. He also highlighted the support from SGP’s technical partner, PSA, whose transfer of knowledge in port operations has helped to fast-track the physical and digital improvements at KAPD, growing SGP’s presence as the port of choice for Eastern and Central Saudi Arabia.
Regional CEO of Middle East and South Asia and Head of Group Business Development of PSA International Mr Wan Chee Foong said, “PSA is proud to have supported both the physical and digital infrastructure growth of KAPD, which have in-turn enhanced the logistics ecosystem in the Kingdom. We are committed to being alongside the Kingdom and SGP to co-create more new opportunities and successes in the Kingdom and regionally.”