Abu Dhabi Ports Group, the operator of industrial cities and free zones in the emirate, is "on track" with the development of its new CMA Terminals Khalifa Port with a budgeted capital expenditure of Dh3.3 billion ($89 million).
The group hit a "major development milestone" as it installed the first 90-tonne block for the quay wall of the terminal, it said on Thursday.
“Today marks a key moment in the development of the new terminal in Khalifa Port, which will drive increased trade volumes and add new trade links with other high-profile ports, boosting the UAE’s economy," Saif Al Mazrouei, chief executive of the ports cluster at AD Ports Group, said.
Announced in September 2021, the new terminal is expected to be operational in the first half of 2025. It will be managed by a joint venture owned 70 per cent by CMA Terminals, a subsidiary of CMA CGM, and 30 per cent by AD Ports Group.
"With the arrival of French shipping container company CMA CGM, Khalifa Port is now providing hubs for three of the world’s top four shipping lines," Mr Al Mazrouei said.
Established in 2006, AD Ports Group owns and operates 10 ports in the UAE. These include Khalifa Port, Zayed Port, Mussaffah Port, Fujairah Terminals, Community Ports, Kamsar Port and the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal, as well as a terminal in Guinea.
AD Ports Group also manages more than 550 square kilometres of industrial zones and an end-to-end logistics business, besides offering a range of maritime services.
It is developing a wide range of supporting marine infrastructure for the terminal, which will provide CMA CGM with a new regional hub, the company said.
"In addition to initiating construction of the quay wall, other ongoing marine works including the reclamation of land for the new terminal, construction of a new port basin and an offshore detached breakwater are on track," David Gatward, chief engineering and technical services officer at AD Ports Group, said.
"The ongoing development and expansion at the terminal will increase our container handling capacity and boost operational efficiency."
When the quay wall is complete, the signed block will be able to accommodate the world’s largest container vessels. Other facilities under development include a 3,500-metre offshore detached breakwater, a fully built-out rail platform, and one million square metres of terminal yard.
After its completion, the new terminal will have an initial capacity of 1.8 million twenty-foot equivalent units, be fully integrated with Etihad Rail, and boost Khalifa Port’s connectivity, the company said.
"With our new terminal and the shipping line services it will attract, Khalifa Port will see increased connectivity to global markets and further development of multi-modal logistics facilities, and advanced port infrastructure," Michael Lund Hansen, chief executive of CMA Terminals Khalifa Port, said.