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The newly enlarged Jeddah Islamic Port has space for 6.2 million containers

The Saudi ports authority said this week it had completed a SAR1 billion ($270 million) expansion of Jeddah Islamic Port as tensions in the Red Sea continue.

The project to deepen and expand the northern container terminal in Jeddah, to be operated by the Red Sea Gateway Terminal (RSGT) company, more than doubles capacity from 700,000 to 1.5 million square metres.

Handling capacity has risen from 2.5 million containers to 6.2 million, with 11 platforms, a statement said.

In Jeddah the northern channel of the Red Sea Gateway Terminal can now take giant ships with a draft of up to 17 metres, the company said.

Dubai’s DP World operates a container terminal inside Jeddah Islamic Port, the traditional landing point for Muslim pilgrims heading to Mecca by sea. DP World is also building a logistics park.

Saudi Arabia is trying to increase port capacity to more than 40 million standard containers and its share of the trans-shipment market to 45 percent as part of its economic development plans.

The Red Sea coastal region features heavily in the giga-projects at the heart of the plan to diversify the Saudi economy, including Neom in north-west Saudi Arabia, luxury resort Amaala, Jeddah Central, and entertainment and tourism centres in Jizan and Abha.