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By Meera Ravi » One of the major pioneering projects that should substantially contribute to industrial growth in the country is the Bahrain Industrial Wharf (BIW). Built on partly reclaimed land covering an area of 170 hectares, the project's aim is to attract large and small manufacturing and services enterprises. It will also contain commercial and administrative units and residential quarters for labour working in this investment complex.
Alongside this project, is the Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Port (KBSP), planned to be ready by the end of 2008. Nurtured by the dynamic Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa, President of Customs and Chairman of General Organization of Sea Ports, the new port is at the centre of a whole new development grid that includes a new bridge and a dual three-lane highway to connect both ports and ease the traffic flow between them.
The site of the port was chosen to be located near the new industrial areas, in particular the Bahrain Industrial Investment Park (BIIP) which has been designed and marketed to attract export oriented high-tech industries.
Moreover, to improve the effeciency in both ports, their operations were privatised and APM Terminals Bahrain has won the contract to operate both ports on behalf of the government of Bahrain. This is the biggest privitisation deal in Bahrain and reflects the seriousness of the government in its reform programmes.
“When the government decided to set up the Khalifa bin Salman Port, its main objectives included making KBSP the principal port for local Bahrain trade and a major logistics centre, in particular for upper Gulf traffic,” explained Shaikh Daij. “The port will be a feeder port to the ports in the Gulf and provide easy access to the Saudi hinterland.”
With its world class facility, high level of efficiency in port operations and the hi-tech equipment used, KBSP will help to redirect a major portion of the upper Gulf traffic towards Bahrain.
The KBSP project was a result of many years of research and was taken up due to increased economic and foreign trade activities and a significant rise in shipping traffic through Bahrain. KBSP is a multi-terminal and multi-functional terminal for container and general cargo.