KCT embarks on quay front expansion plan

DUBAI - Khorfakkan Container Terminal (KCT) is planning to increase its current 1,060 metres of quay front by 400 metres. The new expansion plan is already well advanced and construction will start shortly. The new facility, which is due for completion next year, will bring the potential annual throughput at Khorfakkan to over two million TEUs (wenty feet equivalent units). The container throughput at KCT last year stood at 1.6 million TEUs, recording a 15 per cent increase over 2002.

By Jamila Qadir

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Published: Sun 15 Feb 2004, 12:34 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:52 AM

The second phase consisting of a further 380 metres of quay will follow, with both berths being protected by an impressive breakwater. According to Gulftainer Co, which manages and operates the port on behalf of Sharjah Port Authority, the phasing is required to ensure that a suitable berth is available for the next generation of ships due to emerge next year.

Being built on the reverse side of the quay to the established berths, the new facility will be protected by a long breakwater and the depth alongside and in the turning circle, will be 16 metres at mean low water. Capable of handling the largest container ships currently being envisaged by international shipping lines, the new quay will be supported by four new Super Post Panamax ship-to-shore gantries and additional container handling equipment.

Speaking about the logic behind the new project, Barry Coughlan, director and general manager of Gulftainer, said: "The new project is in line with our policy of expanding our ever increasing capabilities ahead of customer demand. Container ships are getting bigger. The latest orders placed by the shipping industry's major international lines are for large ships with capacity of 8,000 TEUs plus. Such ships represent a massive investment to shipping lines and can only be successfully operated if ports can handle them efficiently and cost effectively."

Located on the Indian Ocean coast of Sharjah and already recognised as one of the top container ports in the world, Khorfakkan Container Terminal is outside the sensitive Straits of Hormuz and close to major east-west trade routes. He said that a growing number of ship owners regognised they can save over a days steaming by using Khorfakkan as an entrepot port or as a gateway to the UAE via the fast and efficient Khorfakkan - Sharjah mini-bridge operated by the Gulftainer transport arms - Speedtrux and Tracktainer.

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