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Khalifa Port, Abu Dhabi Opens

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

03 September 2012

Abu Dhabi's Khalifa Port was officially opened to container vessels on September 1, 2012, following the completion of the USD7.2bn first phase of a larger project to develop both the facility and the adjacent Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad).

Khalifa Port, the world's first semi-automated container terminal, and the most technologically-advanced facility in the Middle East and North Africa region, featuring six of the world's largest ship-to-shore cranes, is to replace the Mina Zayed terminal - presently the Emirate's largest 'destination port'.

In its first years of operations, a first terminal, Terminal 1 will be able to handle 2.5 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) and 12 million tonnes of general cargo per year. It is anticipated that by 2030, the facility will have capacity for 15 million containers, rivalling the likes of the world-leading terminals in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore. Khalifa Port accepted its first commercial container vessel on July 18, 2012, operated by Evergreen Line, as part of preparations ahead of its grand opening.

The project to establish Khalifa Port was undertaken to replace Mina Zayed terminal, which will now be converted into a cruise liner terminal, in line with the government's Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. Container business will be gradually transferred to Khalifa Port. Last year, Mina Zayed handled 767,000 containers, an increase of almost 50% on 2010.

Khalifa Port will act as a dedicated enabler for the adjacent Kizad, also developed by Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC), which will eventually become one of the largest industrial zones in the world. Kizad has so far surpassed all targets and signed 25 lease agreements and preliminary agreements with local, regional and international tenants, and companies are expected to begin operations in 2013, after the completion of supporting infrastructure projects. Eventually, Kizad will be developed into a manufacturing and industrial hub spanning some 417 square kilometers, 1.2 sq kms of which will be a 'free zone'.

Ahead of the port's launch, ADPC Chairman Dr Sultan Al Jaber commented: "We are delivering the first phase of this megaproject on time, on schedule and within budget as we promised. We are confident that the industrial complex, which will grow into one of the largest in the world within 20 years, will make a powerful contribution to the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030."

Tony Douglas, CEO, ADPC commented. "September 1st will be a very proud day not only for ADPC but also for the economy of the Emirate as we play our part in helping to fulfil the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.”

TAGS: marine

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