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Abu Dhabi unwraps world’s largest industrial zone
Haseeb Haider / 14 November 2010
ABU DHABI — Abu Dhabi has unveiled its largest infrastructure project, the world’s biggest industrial zone project being built in Taweelah, where certain industrial units that add value to the emirate’s drive for economic diversification would be granted 100 per cent foreign ownership rights.
The Khalifa Industrial Zone, or Kizad, is investing $7.2 billion that includes the cost of the first phase of the Khalifa Port, an integral part of the mega project, said Abu Dhabi Ports (ADPC) Company Chief Executive Officer Tony Douglas in a briefing to the media on Saturday. It is to be spread over 417 square kilometres and to be built in two phases over several years.
Others who spoke on the occasion included ADPC Chairman Dr Sultan Al Jaber Industrial Zones Executive Vice-President Khaled Salmeen.
ADPC has adopted a “dual operating mode,” which also entails 100 per cent ownership to investors, in cases where such projects boost economic diversification drive of the emirate, Salmeen said.
Dr Al Jaber said that “some specific manufacturing companies will be considered given their business plans.” The project, which is 60 kilometres from Abu Dhabi and 45 kilometres from Jebel Ali, will be linked to the up-coming railway line. It has a dedicated port and it will have easy access to Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s four airports, apart from the inter-emirate motorway for the transportation of goods manufactured.
The project is the key element in Abu Dhabi Economic 2030, which aims at diversifying the economy away from oil dominance.
By 2030, Kizad will be expected to contribute around 15 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s non-oil GDP.
Work on the phase one of the port development is already in advanced stages, while the phase one of the industrial zone, which will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2012, will have clustres dedicated for the petrochemicals, steel, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, chemicals, biotechnology, metals, logistics and food and beverages industries.
Emirates Aluminium, one of the world’s largest aluminium smelters and jointly owned by Dubal and Mubadala Development Company, has started its production in the zone. Phase two of the zone, to be spread over 365 square kilometres, will encourage industries including hi-tech, light manufacturing, logistics and others, aside from housing facilities.
The first wave of development is expected to be filled by 2018.
Salmeen said the zone is now ready to receive applications from potential tenants.
On the financing aspect, Douglas told Khaleej Times that the project is being funded by the government.
He said that the industrial zone that offers global industry a bright future will generate 100,000 skilled jobs in the long term.
He said that it will be a powerful magnet for foreign direct investment, with global business locating large-scale primary and downstream manufacturing facilities in the industrial zone.
It is anticipated that between 60 to 80 per cent of the goods manufactured within Kizad will be exported.
Kizad’s strategy is to attract world-class companies, which will benefit from Abu Dhabi’s location for market access, low cost operating environment and support essential for long term competitive advantage. Khalifa Port will have the capacity to handle two million containers a year and nine million of cargo, four times to the present capacity of Mina Zayed, the main port in Abu Dhabi. The capacity will be multiplied to 15 million containers and 35 million tons of cargo by 2030.
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