SPARK and Hutchison Ports are pleased to announce the signing of a shareholders' agreement for the formation of a joint venture to manage and operate the dry port and bonded logistics zone in the SPARK energy industrial city. Designed to ensure ease of access to global markets, the three-square-kilometre dry port will enable the future joint venture to capture the growing demand for logistics services for energy-related products in the Middle East and beyond while also serving the neighboring industrial cities.
SPARK is a sustainable, global energy hub in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province. The mega project, which spans over 50 square kilometres, 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.
Mr. Mohammed Y. Al-Qahtani, Chairman of SPARK, summarised the significance of the agreement: "We are so proud to give investors another reason to do business at SPARK. Hutchison Ports is a world class ports and terminal operator, and the step we take together today 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."
Group Managing Director of Hutchison Ports, Mr. Eric Ip, added: "Saudi Arabia is an important market and we are very excited to participate in this ambitious, game-changing mega project. As the world's leading port group, we will leverage our logistics expertise to create value and competitiveness for the tenants of SPARK."
Commenting at the ceremony, Mr. Saif Al Qahtani, SPARK President and CEO said: "Our partnership with Hutchison Ports marks an important milestone in the ongoing development of SPARK. 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. 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 dedicated three-square-kilometre dry port and logistics zone will include warehouses and storage facilities, a bonded area and on-site customs clearance.