Etihad Rail signed a deal to provide freight services to Abu Dhabi contractor Western Bainoona Group in one of the largest commercial partnerships for the second stage of the UAE’s national rail project.
Etihad Rail will transport construction material from Western Bainoona's complex in Fujairah to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the UAE rail operator said on Tuesday.
About 4.5 million tonnes of Western Bainoona’s aggregates will be transported annually on 643 trains to logistics centres in the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi and Dubai Industrial City.
The rail operator will allocate 70 wagons for each 1-kilometre-long train, with an approximate capacity of 7,000 tonnes a trip.
The partnership will reduce road traffic by the equivalent of 120,000 lorry trips a year, Etihad Rail said.
“Etihad Rail delivers cost-effective and time-efficient transport solutions, reducing road traffic in the UAE," said Mohamed Al Marzooqi, executive director of Rail Relations Sector at Etihad Rail.
"In doing so, we protect the environment in reducing carbon emissions. Additionally, we deliver significant benefits for the logistics, infrastructure, and transport sectors across the UAE.”
The UAE, one of the world’s largest logistics centres, is building an extensive rail network across the region to speed up freight transport.
Etihad Rail, which was formed in 2009, has been given the mandate to build a rail network that extends for about 1,000km from Ghuweifat, at the border with Saudi Arabia, to Fujairah, on the UAE’s east coast.
Upon completion, it will connect Abu Dhabi's Khalifa Port and Mussaffah with Jebel Ali Port in Dubai and the Port of Fujairah.
“The network will enhance the capacity of companies operating across the UAE. Companies can develop their business[es] by redirecting assets and reducing transport costs, efficiently utilising their time and resources to become active players in the development of the UAE,” said Mohammed Al Hameli, Western Bainoona Group chairman.
When completed, the UAE’s national rail network will have a total annual freight capacity of more than 50 million tonnes of goods, according to Etihad Rail’s website.