ADPC has granted Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT) the exclusive right to manage and operate the first Khalifa Port container terminal by signing a 30-year concession.
The concession for Khalifa Port Container Terminal 1 was signed during a ceremony at Emirates Palace attended by shipping industry figureheads and stakeholders. The state-of-the-art container terminal began commercial operations on September 1 this year. The entire port was formally inaugurated last week.
The agreement with ADPC, Khalifa Port’s owner and regulator, means ADT will manage and operate the new container terminal as it grows in stature as an international shipping hub. The port’s deep sea berths, gigantic ship-to-shore (STS) cranes and automated technology are already a big draw for major shipping lines.
“The concession secures the effective management and operation of Khalifa Port Container Terminal 1 for the next 30 years and will help to enable significant industrial development and diversification,” said Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chairman, ADPC. “As a world-class gateway, Khalifa Port will enable businesses in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) to have a competitive edge in global trade that will allow them to thrive.”
Kizad, at just under 420 square kilometres of land, is the showcase industrial development adjacent to the new port island, destined to grow into one of the largest industrial zones in the world. The combined megaproject (both the port and Kizad) is expected to contribute 15 per cent of the capital’s non-oil gross domestic product by 2030.
Dr Al Jaber added: “The concession clarifies the relationship between the owner and regulator and the manager and operator of the container terminal and ensures a healthy relationship for many years to come.”
Khalifa Port currently operates six of the world’s largest STS cranes and the only semi-automated container terminal in the Middle East. Another three STS cranes and 12 automated stacking cranes (ASCs) have been ordered. The end of phase 1 will give the port the capacity to handle 2.5 million containers annually. The capacity of the existing port island can then be doubled to five million containers per annum in line with anticipated demand.
“We’re committed to the development of Khalifa Port Container Terminal 1 and the creation of a hub that can offer complete network solutions to the world’s biggest shipping lines,” said Capt Mohamed Al Shamisi, Chairman, ADT. “With its deep berths and giant cranes, the facility has the ability to service the largest container ships at sea.”
Capt Al Shamisi said the inauguration of Khalifa Port on December 12, 2012, was a “tremendous boost” for Abu Dhabi and the entire UAE and “the signing of the concession was a milestone” for ADT.
“By signing this agreement, we have cemented long-term cooperation with ADPC and secured our commitment to growing this burgeoning terminal into an international giant,” said Martijn Van de Linde, the Chief Executive Officer of ADT.
Mr Van de Linde said: “We helped plan the terminal, we helped design its operation methodology and we managed the redirection of container traffic from the city centre; now, we can focus on growing the container business and providing local industry with a gateway to the world.”
ADT planned the strategic redirection of Abu Dhabi’s container business from Mina Zayed, the celebrated and much-loved 40-year-old port in the city centre, to Khalifa Port. The move was completed three months ahead of schedule and less than three months after the new container terminal began commercial operations. It involved moving the operations of 24 major shipping lines to the new facility at Taweelah, 60 kilometres from Abu Dhabi Island.
“The port is already bustling and it will expand in stages, as and when market forces demand, until it is one of the largest in the world,” said Tony Douglas, Chief Executive Officer, ADPC. “With a strategic location at the centre of maritime trade, world-class technology and a flourishing local economy, the project has everything it needs to be a global success.
“As the developer of Abu Dhabi’s ports, we have been involved with Khalifa Port since the very beginning and now we are looking forward to many successful years ahead,” Mr Douglas said.