King Salman Energy Park and Hutchison Ports launch KSA JV

By Dominic Ellis
King Salman Energy Park and Hutchison Ports joint venture targets growing logistics demand for energy-related products in the Middle East and beyond

King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) and Hutchison Ports have formed a joint venture to manage and operate the dry port and bonded logistics zone in the SPARK energy industrial city in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province.

Designed to ensure ease of access to global markets, the 3 sq km dry port will target growing demand for logistics services for energy-related products in the Middle East and beyond while also serving neighbouring industrial cities.

The mega project, which spans over 50 sq kms, is a manufacturing, service center and logistics hub for the energy sectors and is an integral part of the Saudi Vision 2030. SPARK will create significant employment, further diversify the economy, and attract additional foreign investment into the Kingdom.

Mohammed Y. Al-Qahtani, Chairman of SPARK, said the joint venture will give SPARK's investors ease of access to local and global markets. "Furthermore, the logistic hubs will also serve the eastern region and its industrial cities. It will also help us fulfil our IKTVA promise to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the world by giving local manufacturers the physical infrastructure they need," he said.

Group Managing Director of Hutchison Ports, Eric Ip, added: "Saudi Arabia is an important market and we are very excited to participate in this ambitious, game-changing mega project... we will leverage our logistics expertise to create value and competitiveness for the tenants of SPARK."

Saif Al Qahtani, SPARK President and CEO said its partnership with Hutchison Ports marks an important milestone in the project's ongoing development.

"The dry port and logistics zone will be the key to unlocking the potential of our strategic location in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, a region which is known for its unmatched oil and gas resources," he said. "We are tremendously excited to work with Hutchison Ports to help connect our investors to the world, allowing them to operate efficiently and save on transport times and costs."

SPARK's first phase is divided into a number of clusters: logistics zone, industrial hub, business district, digital hub, and residential and commercial areas. The dry port and logistics zone will include warehouses and storage facilities, a bonded area and on-site customs clearance.

SPARK is expected to contribute more than $6 billion to the Kingdom’s GDP and create up to 100,000 direct and indirect jobs at the maturity stage.

It is targeting industrial investors across five strategic sectors: Upstream, Downstream, Petrochemicals, Power, Water and Wastewater. From their SPARK-based facilities, investors in these sector-related supply chains will fill the massive gap for locally produced goods and "gain a lasting competitive advantage," the company claims.

SPARK will also cultivate and nurture small and medium-sized enterprises, and stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship in the energy sector, contributing to a more diversified economy.


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