Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Ports on Wednesday signed a concession agreement with the China based Cosco Shipping Ports Limited to build and operate a terminal at Khalifa Port.
The agreement is valid for 35 years with a renewable period of additional years, Abu Dhabi Ports said.
The new terminal will add 2.4 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) to the existing capacity of 2.5 million TEUs at the Khalifa Port.
“The signing of concession agreement between Abu Dhabi ports and Cosco shipping will significantly expand trade between China, the UAE and the broader region,” said Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports Company.
“It [the new terminal] will greatly enhance the UAE and Abu Dhabi’s role as a key logistics and trading hub and will serve further to diversify the economy,” he said, adding that with the development of China’s One Belt, One Road strategy, there is a boundless potential for further expanding UAE-China relations.
There is also an option for a further 600 meters of quay length in future to allow for anticipated volume growth to increase the capacity to 3.5 million TEUs. When all phases are completed, the annual capacity at Khalifa Port will go up to 6 million TEUs.
“Today our growth is double digit and the new terminal will boost our growth in the years to come as well. Overall capacity of the Khalifa port will jump from 2.5 million TEU to all the way to 6 million TEU per year once all phases are completed,” Captain Mohammad Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, told Gulf News.
When asked why they chose Cosco Shipping for the project, he said the company is a strong international player running 47 ports around the world with a capacity of more than 90 million TEUs. “Abu Dhabi is going to greatly benefit due to the partnership with the company. It will give us more exposure and enhance trade to and from Abu Dhabi. We are also expecting more Foreign Direct Investment in Kizad (Khalifa Industrial Zone).”
Abu Dhabi Ports posted a 77 per cent increase in the net profit in the first half of this year due to major growth in general and bulk cargo, container volumes and Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) traffic.
Revenues of the company also went up by 20 per cent in the first half of the year. At the Khalifa Port Container Terminal, container volumes increased by 11 per cent.