Abu Dhabi’s US$7 billion Khalifa Port is on track to complete marine works by the second quarter of next year in an expansion project to accommodate a new terminal that will be managed by China’s Cosco Shipping Ports.
Abu Dhabi Ports, the operator of Khalifa Port, last year signed a 35-year concession agreement with Cocso to operate a new $700 million terminal that will add 2.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) a year to the port’s existing capacity of 2.5 million TEUs.
Abu Dhabi Ports, which is also deepening the port to receive the biggest ships, has completed 75 per cent of dredging work, which is due to be completed by the end of this year. It did not disclose the cost of the expansion project yesterday.
“The expansion underway will ensure the port can accommodate anticipated growth in the short to medium term and handle the world’s largest ships in the long term, increasing the competitiveness of the emirate as a logistics and maritime hub, while also serving key industries across the UAE,” said Juma Al Shamisi, the chief executive of Abu Dhabi Ports.
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The expansion is part of ambitious plans for Khalifa Port, which replaced Abu Dhabi’s 1960s-built Port Zayed as the city’s main container port in December 2012. Khalifa Port will have the projected capacity to handle 15 million TEUs a year by 2030.
Abu Dhabi Ports, which also operates Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad), is expanding its operations in the UAE as part of efforts to diversify the economy away from oil.
Last month, Abu Dhabi Ports signed a 50-year agreement with the Chinese Jiangsu Provincial Overseas Cooperation and Investment Company that will attract estimated investments of Dh1.1bn to the Khalifa Port Free Trade Zone.