COSCO Shipping’s port operating subsidiary has signed a concession agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports to develop and operate a new container terminal at Khalifa Port, located midway between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The new Khalifa Port Container Terminal 2 will be operated by a joint venture (JV) including COSCO Shipping Ports Limited – Abu Dhabi (CSPL SPV) as the majority shareholder for 35 years, with the option to renew it for an additional 5.
The new facilities will have an 18 m draft depth with 1,200 m of quay wall and adjacent land.
The first 800 m of the quay and the corresponding concession area are expected to become operative in the first half of 2018, while the remaining 400 m and the corresponding concession area are set to start operations in 2020.
Upon the project’s completion, the 70 ha concession area will have a total of three berths, which are expected to add an additional 2.4m teu annual capacity to the port’s existing 2.5m teu.
The two companies’ agreement includes the option to add a further 600 m of quay length in the future to meet anticipated volume growth. This would increase the terminal’s annual handling capacity to 3.5m teu, leading to a rise to 6m teu in the overall annual capacity of the port.
The quay expansion at the new container terminal, which is located along the ‘One Belt, One Road’ route, is part of a series of developments at the port including a new terminal booking, tracking and transaction system for sea and land based users, and new liner calls.
The projects undertaken also include the development of approximately 14.5m sq m now leased in the adjacent Khalifa Industrial Zone (KIZAD), as well as of a regional liner hub and transhipment business to South Asia.
Abu Dhabi Ports said in a statement the new construction project is “in line with the progressive aspirations of Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 for a more diversified economy”.
Wan Min, China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited’s president, said in a statement: “Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Port is a strategic hub along the ‘One Belt One Road’, as it has unique geographical advantage for the development of terminal and logistics businesses.”
“Its well-developed transportation and nearby ample supply of cargoes are conducive to Khalifa Port to become the next hub port in the Middle East region,” he added, “we are confident that the project will stimulate the implementation of ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative, and will promote strategic cooperation between China and the UAE.”
China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ strategy, unveiled in 2013, aims to enhance maritime and rail transport infrastructure between China and Europe via Asia.