King Abdulaziz Port welcomes its first LNG-powered cargo vessel  

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Port has received its first cargo ship powered by eco-friendly liquified natural gas in a boost to the Kingdom’s maritime industry and environmental credentials.

The Dammam-located facility hosted the French vessel CMA CGM SYMI, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by using BioLNG fuel, cutting 67 percent of its carbon dioxide discharge. 

The docking comes two years after Jeddah Islamic Port welcomed the world’s first and largest LNG-powered container ship, the CMA CGM Jaques Saade.   

The achievement further strengthens the strategic partnership between Saudi Ports Authority and the French shipping and logistics company.

In March 2022, the ports authority, also known as Mawani, signed a deal with CMA ​CGM Group to build an integrated logistics platform at the Jeddah facility as part of a $130 million investment over 20 years.

As well as looking to become a logistics hub, Saudi Arabia is keen to lead the region in promoting sustainable practices, with the Kingdom aiming to achieve net-zero for carbon emissions by 2060.

The most recent docking boosts the Kingdom’s aim to improve its port connectivity, in line with the objectives of the National Transport and Logistics Strategy. 

According to the Saudi Press Agency, one of the main objectives of this initiative is to increase the contribution of the transport and logistics sector to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product from the current 6 percent to 10 percent.   

This is set to drive up the sector’s non-oil revenues to approximately SR45 billion ($12 billion) a year by 2030. 

In June, a top official from Kuwait-based Agility Logistics praised the Kingdom’s progress in the sector and said Saudi Arabia was driving a “major transformation” in the region.

Speaking during the 10th Arab-China Business Conference in Riyadh, Henadi Al-Saleh said the Kingdom is “literally pivoting and transforming the logistics landscape.”

She added that the sector’s growth puts it in the forefront of investment appeal, making it the “easiest market to do business in.”

In May, King Abdulaziz Port set a new container throughput record by handling 206,145 twenty-foot equivalent units, according to data released by Mawani.

The Dammam facility surpassed its previous record of 199,609 TEUs in August 2022.

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