Fujairah, UAE: 11th December 2014 - Fujairah, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, boasts a strategic location as the UAE’s only Emirate on East Coast connecting all the markets of the Arab Gulf Countries, the Middle East, Europe and East Africa, thus playing an integral role in the economic development of the country. The Port of Fujairah, which commenced operations in 1983, has embarked on a continuing process of enhancement to its facilities and range of functions to meet the rising demands of international trade. The range of services provided by the Port of Fujairah now includes: General Cargo – including Project Cargoes, Bulk Cargo – including aggregate exports, Wet Bulk Cargo – including Fuel, Oil, etc. for Bunkering and Trading, Port facilities, Container activity in additional to other port related services.
Port of Fujairah
The Port of Fujairah is located at the crossroads of major shipping lines between East and West which has allowed Fujairah to become the second largest bunkering port in the world serving an Anchorage which had 13,493 calls in 2013. This positioning contributed to the foreign trade of the UAE via the Port of Fujairah growing by 40% in volume over the past twelve months. The growth of the Port of Fujairah was given a major boost in 2008 when it was announced that plans to enhance its infrastructure were confirmed after securing a US$245 million syndicated loan from National Bank of Fujairah and Commercial Bank of Dubai. Subsequently Fujairah port trading volumes were valued at AED 13 billion while the chamber witnessed a rise in the number of new and renewed licenses during 2012 by 5%. This investment comes as Fujairah is gaining noticeable attention as a risk-hedging option away from Strait of Hormuz political instability. In this regard, the UAE government has committed $3 billion dollar to develop a 240-mile oil pipeline from Abu Dhabi into Fujairah, with a capacity of 1.5 million barrels a day, directing about 70% of its daily crude exports through Port of Fujairah. The new pipeline was built will reduce the reliance on Arabian Gulf oil terminals, while also reducing shipping congestion through the Straits of Hormuz, cutting insurance costs and saving up to three days sailing time. The government has also committed another $4 billion dollar to set up a refinery at the port’s premises. Other leading Oil & Gas operators and traders have taken aggressive steps towards securing storage spaces at Port of Fujairah, including Saudi Aramco which has leased space for almost 1 million barrels of gasoline. By the end of 2014 Fujairah port’s capacity is expected to increase to about 10.5 million tonnes, up from 4.8 million tonnes in 2012. Saudi Arabia is the biggest investor in oil storage capacity outside of the UAE, accounting for 19% of the total spending.
At present the Port of Fujairah Anchorage can accommodate up to 100 vessels at any time along the 1.4 kilometre long main quay and two bulk loaders for construction aggregate are fully operational and capable of loading 6000 tons of material per hour. Increased volumes of trading in Fujairah port is indicated by many companies who are leasing increased space for barrels, as they seek to increase the volume of refined products they buy and sell.
Growth in the Middle East
As of June 2014 the GCC construction projects in the pipeline are worth USD 2.8 trillion. Leading the region’s future growth in the construction sector is Saudi Arabia, the 3rd largest non-oil trader with UAE, with approximately SAR 21 billion in trade in 2013, who has experienced a steep rise in contracts awarded in 2014. These early stages of the current boom have resulted in the total value of projects currently planned or underway in Saudi Arabia exceeding USD700 billion. Given that Fujairah also has excellent quarry resources and is perfectly capable of supplying the aggregate materials necessary to meet the rising construction demands of Saudi Arabia, companies such as Fujairah-based Oryx Industries, a leading producer of construction materials in the fields of supplying, sourcing and transporting quarry products are well equipped and experienced to supply the new demand. A combination of the strategically positioned Port of Fujairah, the regional infrastructure and the construction suppliers such as Oryx Industries renders Fujairah as the ideal solution to Saudi Arabia’s future growth. Saudi Arabia is also expected to seek new import agreements with the UAE to secure additional resources needed to achieve their future projects, such progress is also highly likely to utilise the facilities on offer at the Port of Fujairah.