By Robeel Haq
A seasonal increase in cargo traffic could delay the launch of Bahrain Gateway, officials have warned.
APM Terminals is preparing to commence operations at Bahrain Gateway later this year, although a seasonal increase in cargo traffic during the winter could delay the launch until January 2009, company officials have warned.
The project, which is located at Khalifa bin Salman Port in Hidd, is aiming to establish itself as a leading cargo hub for the upper Middle East region.
“We will probably face competition from other Gulf countries over the coming years, but we have a couple of important advantages, such as location and space availability and the fact we’ll be ready at the end of this year,” said Steen Davidsen, managing director of APM Terminals Bahrain.
The launch of Bahrain Logistics Zone, which is located in close proximity to Khalifa bin Salman Port, has boosted the amount of interest being received for Bahrain Gateway. As a result, APM Terminals is currently conducting a selection process before allocating land to potential tenants.
"A very important aspect of the move to Bahrain Gateway will be ensuring that the new container handling processes are understood by all port users, so that we can continue to operate in a manner in which safety takes precedence over all other concerns,” added Davidsen. “To this end, all applicants for access to the new port will have to undertake a port users' safety awareness course in order to be approved to enter the facility.”
APM Terminals is also running a series of information sessions this month for various stakeholders. "This is to answer any questions about the transfer of operations from Mina Salman to Bahrain Gateway at Khalifa Bin Salman Port, as well as any longer-term questions about operations at the new facility," said Davidsen.