Saudi Arabia will unveil its $914m investment plan for ports at Seatrade Middle East Maritime (SMEM) 2012, to be held in Dubai from 27 to 29 November 2012.

According to a September 2012 Drewry Maritime Research survey commissioned by Seatrade, the country’s container activity has grown and accounted for 20% of the region’s throughput in 2011 with 5.69 million twenty-foot equivalent units (teu).

Around $750m will be invested in the growth of Dammam’s King Abdul Aziz Port, $535m will be spent on container terminal capacity expansion and $213m will be invested in other facilities.

Approximately $164m has been earmarked for Saudi Ports Authority’s development plan, including setting up a $51m power plant at King Abdul-Aziz Port to increase power generation capacity from 50MW to 120MW.

The money will also be used for a new $46m container terminal in Dhiba Port and two additional container terminals at King Fahd Industrial Port in Jubail at a cost of $38m. The container terminals are scheduled for completion by 2014.

The projects include a second container terminal at King Abdul Aziz Port, scheduled to start operations in 2015, with a quay length of 1,200m and 12 quay cranes, and a design capacity of 1.8 million teu per year.

Saudi Ports Authority also aims to build a $27m cruise and leisure vessel terminal at Yanbu Commercial Port.

In the first half of 2012, the Saudi Ports Authority recorded a rise in imports and exports of 5.15%, increasing to 3.6 million tonnes. Total tonnage throughput growth of 29.5% is forecast for 2012, with an average increase of 10.9% per annum through to 2016.