Etihad Rail, the developer of the UAE’s national rail network, signed an agreement with Al Ghurair Iron & Steel to transport its steel products across the country and boost exports.
As part of the deal, Etihad Rail will transport the steelmaker's products from its manufacturing plant in the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi to Khalifa Port and Dubai’s Jabel Ali, state news agency Wam reported on Thursday.
“Our rail network drives further cost and time savings, increases operational efficiency in comparison to road-based transport and enables further market expansion opportunities for our partners at AGIS,” Mohammed Al Marzouqi, executive director of Rail Relations sector at Etihad Rail, said.
The UAE, already one of the world's largest logistics and transportation centres, is building an extensive rail network across the region to speed up the transport of freight. Etihad Rail, which was formed in 2009, is building a rail network that extends for about 1,000 kilometres 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.
AGIS, a joint venture between UAE’s Al Ghurair Group and Japan’s Nippon Steel Corporation, manufactures high-quality steel sheets and galvanised steel, used widely in the UAE’s construction sector. The company exports its products to over 40 countries.
“Rail transport allows for shorter timeframes for import clearance of hot rolled steel coils,” Abu Bucker Husain, chief executive of Al Ghurair Iron & Steel, said.
Etihad Rail signed a similar agreement with quarrying company Stevin Rock to transport construction raw material from Ras Al Khaimah to Abu Dhabi this year.