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Bahrain base for JV.

Bahrain is to be the regional logistics base of Samel, a joint venture between Schmidt Heilbronn and Agility, a global specialist for bulk business.

An MoU was signed by Dr Wolfgang Hoppmann, CEO of Samel and Hassan Ali Al Majed, director general of the General Organisation of Sea Ports (GOP) and Bahrain Logistic Zone (BLZ).

Samel and BLZ will work together to set up an economical and efficient solution to store, handle and distribute different bulk materials like polyethylene, polypropylene, catalysts and additives for the chemical and petrochemical industry.

The layout, concept, and the feasibility study will be prepared by Samel according to terms agreed in the memorandum.

Strategic partnership

"This strategic partnership allows Samel and BLZ to open the gates for highly specialised logistics in this region, with Bahrain playing an important role as a distribution hub for the GCC," said Hoppmann.

"Ultimately, this will lead to a drastic increase in the number of companies with specialised bulk market expertise and operational skills setting up shop in Bahrain, which will help support Bahrain's economy in the future."

Al Majed said the partnership represented a key milestone for BLZ and would help support Bahrain's logistics offering and its position as a regional transshipment hub.

"BLZ has a truly unique offering that includes competitive rates, world-class services for commercial, import/export and re-export activities, efficient turnaround times and close proximity to the state-of-the-art Khalifa Bin Salman Port, all of which help make it an ideal destination for companies looking to establish a strong foothold in the GCC," commented Al Majed.

"As the kingdom's maritime industry regulator, the General Organisation of Sea Ports is committed to working together with Samel in order to facilitate the establishment of its operations. We are confident that both parties will mutually benefit from this partnership to meet the growing demand of specialised logistics across the $1 trillion top-tier markets of the Gulf," he added.

Old port re-used

In other Bahrain ports news, the GOP said it has successfully turned the old Salman Port into a dedicated import and export building materials terminal with its first shipment of construction materials.

The GOP move is in line with its commitment to redeveloping the kingdom's former container and general cargo terminal.

Salman Port witnessed its first shipment of building materials, some 9,836 tonnes of coke fuel, exported to Mina Saqr (UAE). There is a growing demand for building materials in Bahrain.

Al Majed said: "With the redevelopment of Salman Port into a dedicated building material terminal, it is now ready to begin receiving, handling, and storing building materials.

"We took advantage of this readiness and arranged for the first shipment to leave the port in early January, monitoring it closely to ensure the operations were safe and environmentally friendly.

"Further plans to redevelop the port will provide it with the facilities necessary to handle and store building materials."

Currently Bahrain imports its building materials from local neighbouring countries in small vessels or barges.

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Publication:Gulf Industry
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:Mar 1, 2012
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