Abu Dhabi Ports Group, the operator of industrial cities and free zones in the emirate, has teamed up with various Angolan organisations to enhance maritime connectivity along Africa’s west coast.
The Abu Dhabi-listed company has signed a framework agreement with Angola’s Ministry of Transport during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2023 to develop maritime services and infrastructure across the country.
Some of the areas highlighted under the framework agreement include ferry and cabotage services, maritime passenger terminals, logistics platforms and a maritime academy in Angola. It also covers plans to consider development of the Caio Deepwater Terminal at Cabinda Port, in Angola’s oil-rich north-west.
AD Ports Group also entered into a head of terms agreement to form a joint venture with state-owned logistics and transport company Unicargas.
Unicargas manages the multipurpose terminal at the Port of Luanda, Angola’s busiest, that handles more than 70 per cent of the country’s imports and 80 per cent of its non-petroleum exports.
AD Ports Group will be the majority stakeholder in the venture that will work to modernise and manage the multipurpose terminal and the logistics business of Unicargas.
The development of Angola’s port infrastructure is a key priority of the country’s 2023-2027 National Development Plan.
“We are focused on building fast and efficient maritime trade routes, and we are pleased to bring our robust knowledge base to Angola and the ports located on Africa’s west coast,” said Mohamed Al Shamisi, managing director and chief executive of AD Ports Group.
Angola’s oil and gas sector contributes nearly 50 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product and about 90 per cent of exports. The energy sector is expected to benefit considerably from the improved connectivity.
“Modernising our port infrastructure is a vital step for Angola to maximise the potential of our natural resources and promote economic growth for the benefit of our people,” said Ricardo Viegas D´Abreu, Angola’s Minister for Transport.
Angola is considered the sixth-largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa, with a GDP of $74 billion. Well-positioned to benefit from increased maritime trade, it has 1,600km of Atlantic Ocean coastline, with five major ports, at Luanda, Cabinda, Lobito, Soyo and Namibe.
“We are pleased to participate in the new joint venture to enhance and operate the multipurpose terminal at the Port of Luanda, leveraging the expertise we have developed at ports in the UAE and wider region,” said Mohamed AlMenhali, regional chief executive – Africa, AD Ports Group.
“Working with Unicargas, we see significant opportunities to increase efficiency and boost capacity, deploying the latest innovations to enhance service levels and turnaround times.”
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.