Creating Belt and Road Co-operation
Aligned with Abu Dhabi’s Vision 2030 to drive growth, attract investment, support economic diversification and create sustainable jobs, in November 2016, Abu Dhabi Ports signed a 35-year concession agreement with Cosco Shipping Ports Limited, CSP, to operate a new container terminal in Khalifa Port.
The new container terminal will have a draft depth of 18 metres, a quay wall and yard of 1,200 metres. Once the expansion areas are occupied, the Concession Area will span approximately 70 hectares with 3 berths, which will add 2.4 million TEUs a year to the Port’s existing capacity of 2.5 million.
COSCO Shipping is expected to start operations on 800 metres of quay in the first quarter of 2019, with the other 400 metres coming on-stream in 2020.
The agreement includes the option for a further 600 metres of quay length in the future to allow for anticipated volume growth, the nominal annual handling capacity will increase to 3.5 million TEUs when all phases are complete, creating a new overall annual capacity of up to 6 million TEUs.
Largest CFS in GCC
The additional terminal will include the largest Container Freight Station (CFS) in the region covering 275,000 square metres, with a further expansion of 150,000 square metres.
This state-of-the-art facility will offer bonded ‘LCL/FCL’ consolidation and de-consolidation services, cross stuffing, cargo weight reduction, short-term warehousing for de-consolidated cargo as well as easy connectivity with container terminals in Khalifa Port.
A New Chapter
Khalifa Port represents a strategic hub along the “Belt & Road”, as it has unique geographical advantages for the development of terminal and logistics businesses.
These agreements open a new chapter between the UAE and China, in terms of infrastructure investment, construction and service sector, and bear new fruits for the “Belt and Road” cooperation between the two countries.
A Broader Strategy
The agreements are a part of a broader strategy to develop Abu Dhabi as a regional logistics and trade hub and link it with industrial free zones to expand and diversify the economy.
The new terminal will also ease the way for companies seeking to establish, expand or enhance their trade by using local manufacturing, warehousing or logistics operations within Abu Dhabi and, through them, service regional, Middle Eastern, African and international markets.
It forms part of ambitious plans to more than double the container-handling capacity at Khalifa Port over the next several years.
In addition to attracting investors from Eastern Asia, it will increase Khalifa Port’s competitiveness and act as a catalyst for investment by foreign companies to set up in the free zone of Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, KIZAD.