You don’t want to light a cigarette in the latest warehouse to open in the new Dubai World Central mega-complex.
The 15,800 square metre RSA-Talke warehouse, which has space for 19,000 storage pallets, storing a cornucopia of dangerous chemicals, is programmed to fill completely from floor to ceiling with flame-retardant foam in just three minutes at the sign of a spark.
The new warehouse, built by RSA-Talke, a joint venture between Dubai-based RSA Logistics and the German-based Talke Group, also includes an explosion-proof facility, a special polyurethane-coated floor and some exceptionally tight security.
Of course that is hardly surprising considering that the new warehouse, which opened yesterday and is set to start operations on Monday has the capacity to handle some of the most dangerous substances traded internationally including cyanide, arsenic and hydrochloric acid.
RSA-Talke said that the warehouse, which will handle class 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9 dangerous goods, cost Dh50 million to build and construction took 345,000 man hours.
The company is already planning to start work on a second 50,000 sq metre facility close to Jebel Ali port designed to handle liquid chemicals which will have a capacity of 1,800 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) complete with equally impressive safety features.
The company predicts that demand for its specialist services is set to explode (so to speak) as the chemical and petro-chemicals trade increases in the UAE and new chemicals factories currently under construction in Saudi Arabia start to produce raw materials that will require both import and export.
"Demand for this sort of facility in the Middle East is set to grow rapidly," Abhishek Ajay Shah, the director of operations and business development at RSA told The National. "There are so many planned factories in Saudi Arabia. They produce things like foam, which is made from two components. The raw materials have to be shipped to Saudi Arabia so that the foam is produced and then it is transported to a mattress factory in somewhere like China or Sharjah."
“There has never been anything like this in Dubai before,” he added. “We have built this facility to European standards which is what our international customers were demanding.”
Certainly with the new facility having already signed up clients for a committed capacity of 20 to 25 per cent, the concept seems to be sparking interest.