Business | Shipping

Khalifa Port gateway to future

Facility, completed ahead of schedule at a cost of Dh26.5b, is part of Abu Dhabi’s diversification plan

  • By Shehab Al Makahleh, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 19:47 December 12, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: WAM
  • President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister ofthe UAE and Ruler of Dubai, General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, with ministers and other dignitaries during the inauguration of Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
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Abu Dhabi: Khalifa Port, the Middle East North Africa (Mena) region’s first semi-automated container terminal, is built to support the multi-modal (transportation of goods under a single contract ) logistics capabilities, and which integrates into the new Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad). The port accommodates up to 12 million tonnes of general cargo annually and 2.5 million TEUs (twenty foot-equivalent units) of containerised cargo, said Tony Douglas, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC).

“The Dh26.5 billion project will act as an economic gateway of trade for Abu Dhabi, and it has been completed before the required time while meeting the highest standards,” added Douglas. “As a sign of our success, we have attained profits in the last two years and we are expecting further profits in the years ahead.” Douglas explained that UAE ports will be complementing each other and will play a pivotal role towards the overall economy of the UAE.

“There is no doubt that Khalifa Port will be allotted for heavy industries in Abu Dhabi and some heavy and big vessels will be mobilised to it,” said Douglas, adding that “Mina Zayed will be restructured to handle cruise shipping and commercial activities.”

Mohammad Al Shamsi, Executive Vice President, at Ports Unit of Abu Dhabi Port Company (ADPC), told Gulf News that it is expected that handling capacities will increase to 5 million containers within the first five years.

Al Shamsi said that the cost of the port was “less than estimated figures,” with no further information about exact figures and savings.

“The Khalifa Port will be built in five phases. Khalifa Port will also have the ability to expand up to 5 million TEUs by 2018. It is projected to support an annual capacity of 15 million TEUs and be able to handle an additional 35 million tonnes of general cargo by 2030.

Primary agreements

Khalid Salmeen, CEO and MD of Khalifa Industrial Zone of Abu Dhabi (Kizad), told Gulf News that 50 companies had already signed primary agreements with Kizad to lease grounds.

“Kizad is expected to grow over the next twenty years to 417 square kilometres. As Phase I of the project is 51 square kilometres, which forms 55 per cent of the area of Abu Dhabi Island, 27 per cent Phase I has been leased out to Indian, American, Brazilian and Emirati companies,” said Salmeen.

He added: “We have signed so far primary agreements with 50 companies, 33 of them are final long term ground development lease [Musataha] or usufruct agreements. Six companies have already mobilized to Kizad.”

As per Phase II, Salmeen said: “We will start it when 60 per cent of the Phase I is leased out.”

Hesham Al Mutairi, manager of Kuwait Port Authority, told Gulf News that UAE ports complement the role of other GCC ports.

“The UAE ports are considered Kuwaiti ports in cases of emergency and there is a high level of coordination between our two countries in this prospect,” said Al Mutairi.

For his part, Captain Mousa Murad, General Manager of Port of Fujairah, told Gulf News that Fujairah Port will be connected to Kizad by 2016-2017.

“The Fujairah Port will be connected via Etihad Railway by 2016-2017. Right now 70 per cent of the Abu Dhabi oil is transported from Habshan via pipeline to Fujairah Port,” said Murad.

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