Saudi Arabia will soon get a grains terminal to be developed at the Yanbu Commercial Port under a $110m (SAR412m) contract, which aims to meet the future demand for major grains in the Kingdom.
A partnership deal was signed between Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC) and the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) to form the National Grain Company, sponsored by HE Eng. Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli, Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture.
The newly-inked partnership will oversee the trade, handling, and storage of grains between its sources in all regions of the Black Sea, Europe, South America, and the Red Sea region. This will further contribute to the process of import, transportation, distribution, and storage.
Upon commencement, the project will have a capacity of about 3 million tons per year by 2022, which will gradually increase to 5 million tons per year.
Construction of the terminal will be carried out according to the highest international standards. It will allow for the rapid handling of grains and fodder, by making the logistics services of the terminal available to all importers for the benefit of both the private and public sectors.
Achieving food security
“We are delighted with this partnership, which aligns with SALIC’s strategy to contribute to achieving food security in the Kingdom, as part of the Vision 2030 objectives. The project will also aid with the provision of basic food products and price stability in the Kingdom, which is tied to global production and consumption rates, the movement of commercial shipping, and global stocks of basic food commodities,” the minister, also the chairman of SALIC, said.
H.E. Al-Fadhli added: “The new terminal will enhance food distribution solutions in the region by importing, processing, exporting, and storing grains to the Kingdom, thanks in part to the strategic location of Yanbu Commercial Port, a key maritime gateway to receive the Kingdom’s imports of strategic goods.
According to the minister, the project also reflects SALIC’s strategic objectives to achieve more than 50% of the import coverage rate for all commodities identified as strategic goods, in line with the Kingdom’s food security strategy.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Al-Sarhan, chairman of Bahri, said: “Today, we are seizing new expansion opportunities in cooperation with economic entities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to diversify our offerings and provide value-added services, in addition to the development of our main business sectors.”
Referring to the project as one of Saudi Arabia’s “largest regional-level initiatives”, Al-Sarhan stressed that it will “link the Kingdom to global grain sources”.