In a bid to ease traffic congestion across the King Fahd Causeway between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, transport of cement and sand by truck will reportedly be banned from 1 October.
Bahrain is a growing economy with huge cement demand. Last year, Saudi Arabia limited exports to the island nation to 25 000 tpm, resulting in severe shortages. As much as 10 000 t of this is transported by truck across the causeway, resulting in long queues and heavy congestion, which put a great deal of pressure on the causeway. Delays in transportation across the causeway were further impacting on construction projects, and as much as BD35 million was reportedly lost last year thanks to the traffic jams. In addition to this, non-industrial traffic is also being held up, which could put people off traveling between the two countries. This could lead to greater monetary losses for the retail and tourism industries, among others.
Work in progress
A BD1.8 million project to add more truck lanes to the causeway was announced last October as part of a larger expansion project. Whilst work is already underway, it is feared that further losses will be felt in the run up to Eid. The decision to ban truck transport of cement and sand has meanwhile been made by Saudi authorities, according to the head of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Switch to sea
All cement and sand will now be transported by sea. The quota allotted to Bahrain will remain the same, so the market should be unaffected by this move, other than to perhaps see an improvement on delivery times.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/africa-middle-east/01102009/saudi_arabia_ships_sand_and_cement/