Aqaba Container Terminal, the gateway to Jordan and beyond, held on March 11th, a press conference during which it commemorated the successful completion of the first part of its Berth Expansion project’s second phase.
Hosted at the ACT premises in Aqaba, the conference held under the Patronage of ACT’s chairman and Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) Chief Commissioner H.E. Dr. Kamel Mahadin and saw the attendance of several influential figures including; Mr. Peder Sondergaard, Regional Manager AME region of APM Terminals, ADC CEO H.E. Eng. Ghassan Ghanem, ACT’s CEO Soren Hansen, and other members from ACT management team, alongside representatives from the media.
Speaking at the event, ACT’s Chairman and ASEZA Chief Commissioner H.E. Dr. Kamel Mahadin, said that the Berth Expansion project presents itself as an important step for the city of Aqaba, as the project is anticipated to have its positive effect on investment. The expansion contributes to more productive shipping lines bringing about cost savings through higher productivity and port capacity, along with faster trade. In a larger sense, such attributes will in turn, strengthen the city’s position as a friendly investment hub for the region at large. While Aqaba is a city enjoying central positioning in the Levant, and a safe socio-political environment, the expansion comes at a strategic time as trade volumes are expected to increase.
He further added that the ongoing development of the terminal’s facilities fall in line with ACT strategic expansion plans, stressing the company’s commitment to providing the best level of service to its customers.
In his welcoming at the event, Mr. Hansen affirmed that the first part of phase two of the terminal’s berth expansion project was successfully completed with the delivery of 200 meters of the expanded quay length alongside the expansion of the Terminal’s equipment inventory to include the arrival of 2 STS and 4 RTG cranes.
Hansen further pointed out that this development is expected to increase the terminal’s annual capacity to a projected 1.5 million TEUs, and that it will bolster the terminal’s throughput capacity. Furthermore, the new cranes are set to demonstrate an ability to handle 22 rows of “post panamax” containerships, while completing an average of 30 moves per hour, and serving 3 ships simultaneously.
APM Terminals Regional Manager, Mr. Peder Sondergaard further used this opportunity to speak positively of the fruitful partnership between ACT and Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC), confirming that the choice to invest in Aqaba is one that was strategically made, based on the great potential this city has.
He further pointed out that the expansion project has been very well received by both the shipping and supply chain community. It serves to ensure that Aqaba continues to accommodate the forecasted strong volumes into the Levant and Iraq region. It will also allow shipping lines to upgrade their vessels, which in turn will further improve the competitiveness of the City and benefit the end consumers. From another angle, it will also allow for transshipment opportunities in serving other markets in the Red Sea, thus adding to the regional hub concept while creating a sustainable gateway to Jordan and beyond.
It is worth mentioning that Aqaba Container Terminal has reported notable improvements in container traffic through the terminal, reaching a total container throughput of 16 percent increase in 2012.