The Port of King Abdulaziz welcomes its first LNG-powered cargo ship

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Port has received its first cargo ship powered by clean liquefied natural gas to boost the kingdom’s maritime industry and green credentials.

Located in Dammam, the facility housed the French vessel CMA CGM SYMI, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by using BioLNG fuel, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 67 percent.

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

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

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

Saudi Arabia aspires not only to become a logistics hub, but also to become a leader in promoting sustainable practices in the region. The Kingdom aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2060.

The recent mooring reinforces 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 goals 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 expected to boost the non-oil sector’s revenue to about SR 45 billion (US$12 billion) a year by 2030.

In June, a top official at Kuwait-based Agility Logistics praised the kingdom’s progress in the sector and said Saudi Arabia is driving a “major change” in the region.

Henadi Al-Saleh said during the 10th Arab-China Economic Conference in Riyadh that the kingdom is “literally flipping and transforming the logistics landscape.”

She added that the sector is at the forefront of investment attractiveness due to its growth and is “the easiest market to do business in.”

According to Mawani, the port of King Abdulaziz set a new container throughput record in May, handling 206,145 20-foot-equivalent units.

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

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