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48 www. bus- ex. com September / October 09 being planned, which should make internal transport much cheaper. " For cargo coming from the north through the Suez Canal in particular, it will be quicker and more cost effective to unload the cargo at Yanbu and deliver it to Riyadh, Dammam or even to the Gulf States, rather than transport it for another week by ship. I foresee Yanbu becoming a major port in the long term." Saudi Arabia has recently begun to import wheat, and Al Fadhli sees a great opportunity there. " In the next two years, imports of wheat are likely to reach three million tons, and this could rise to ten million tons by 2015, so we will be gearing Yanbu to receive at least 20 per cent of this. We're looking very closely at investing in storage warehouses and silos, and very fast ship unloaders linked to conveyors which will unload the wheat directly to the silos." One of the secrets of APS's success is that it has

a regional player, and to develop complete shipping agency services, handling every element of a job from cargo inspection, through unloading and clearing through customs, to storage and delivery to the final destination. " We already have our shipping agency licence and will be investing in storage facilities and vehicles." Al Fadhli is currently exploring opportunities further afield in the port of Aqaba, and in Damietta, Egypt. Damietta is about 40 kilometres west of Port Said, close to the Suez Canal and with access to Upper Egypt via the Nile. Meanwhile, he is also considering possibilities in Iraq and may even extend his scope to include India and Pakistan. " So it's an exciting time for the company," he concludes. " We are in a competitive business, and there are some major players in the market. But we are operating in a niche, and we have developed considerable experience over many years." - Editorial research by Richard Southwood targeted a niche market sector and gained considerable experience in that area. " Our expertise is in general cargo and bulk," Al Fadhli says. " But we will also look for opportunities to expand into the containers market, and that is where the mega projects are." APS is currently tendering for the east terminal in Dammam in the Arabian Gulf, which currently handles iron ore, raw materials and roll on/ roll off. The vision, though, is to become what Al Fadhli calls Ajwa Port Services September / October 09 www. bus- ex. com 49 As a supplier of equipment to Ajwa Port Services, we are honoured to participate in their business development. This kind of partnership with other regional leaders as well is contributing to higher economical and technical performances. More efficient handling operations of agricultural commodities thanks to VIGAN equipment result in direct financial benefits for our customers and local food industries. VIGAN Engineering S. A.