The Saudi Jordanian Investment Fund (SJIF) and the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) signed a MoU to establish a railway connecting Aqaba’s seaports to a dry port that will be constructed in Ma’an, forming the first phase of Jordan’s national railway network.
Under the agreement, the two sides will cooperate to advance the railway and dry port project, which includes completing thorough technical and feasibility studies. Upon completion of the studies, SJIF and ASEZA would commence project development.
The USD 706 million project (JOD 500 million) involves the construction of a new railway line inside the city of Aqaba connecting the southern seaport and container terminal with the existing line, renovating the existing railway line connecting the city of Aqaba to Ma’an. It is also including the procurement of new rolling stock and other equipment, and the construction of the dry port in Ma’an on four million square meters of land. Upon completion, the railway will operate along a 195-km rail track, transporting containers from and to Aqaba as well as phosphate from the mines in Shidiya to Aqaba for export.
“As SJIF’s first major investment in Jordan, we are pleased to sign this memorandum of understanding aimed at establishing this major infrastructure project. We are confident that our partnership with ASEZA will serve as a model for effective cooperation between the public and private sectors – a model we hope will demonstrate Jordan’s investment potential, encourage future investments in Jordan, and improve Jordan’s competitiveness, in addition to fostering further cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Jordan,” the Chairman of SJIF, Hisham Attar, said.
The project is a major Public Private Partnership aimed at enhancing Jordan’s logistics offering through providing more efficient transport solutions and supporting growth and job creation in the local communities in Aqaba and Ma’an.
“The Aqaba-Ma’an railway and Ma’an dry port would reduce transport costs and spur the development of the logistics ecosystem in southern Jordan and could be the first step in the development of a national railway network,” Chief Commissioner of ASEZA, Nasser Shraideh, said.
The Aqaba-Ma’an railway and the Ma’an dry port project is planned to enhance Jordan’s transport sector and its capabilities in logistics services.