Ras Al Khaimah, May 17th 2017: Saqr Port Authority, which manages the largest bulk-handling port in the middle East, has taken a further step in its planned capacity expansion by signing a deal with Dutch Shipbuilding and Engineering Conglomerate Damen Group for the delivery of a new ASD 2913 tug.
The announcement comes in quick succession of Saqr Port’s recently publicised deal with German machinery manufacturer Liebherr Maritime for two Liebherr LHM 800 mobile harbour cranes. Both contracts have been signed in support of Saqr Port’s plans to establish new berths to create additional capacity in response to rising demand for import / export movements through the Port. In addition to the increased capacity planning, RAK Ports recently opened the Marine Training Institute to deliver FTA accredited training courses to the growing maritime community within the Northern Emirates. These initiatives are strong indicators of the importance of RAK Ports to the overall economic success the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah has experienced in recent years, with the Ports acting as major gateways for expansive international business.
Captain Cliff Brand, RAK Ports General Manager, commented “The addition of a new tug to our existing fleet is another building block in the execution of our strategy to significantly expand the capacity and service portfolio at Saqr Port, which includes being able to handle Capesize class vessels. We already operate 7 Damen tugs as part of our fleet and we are confident that expanding our partnership with Damen Group will help the Port to handle the expected increased cargo movements with the same high levels of efficiency that our clients have become accustomed to over the years.”
The new vessel will be built just a short distance away at Albwardy Damen in Sharjah and will be delivered in time for the opening of the new bulk terminal at Saqr Port in mid-2018.
Saqr Port handled in excess of 55 million tonnes of cargo in 2016, mainly consisting of limestones and aggregates which serves the majority of the construction projects within the Middle East and makes it the largest bulk-handling port in the region.