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Abu Dhabi Ports, French company invest Dh570 million in new terminal

Issac John /Abu Dhabi
issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com Filed on September 9, 2021

The new Khalifa terminal will be the first semi-automated container port in the GCC region

Abu Dhabi Ports Group and France-based CMA CGM Group, a world leader in shipping and logistics, announced on Thursday the signing of a 35-year concession agreement that involves an investment of Dh570 million in the new terminal at Khalifa Port.

The logistics company said, as per the agreement, a new terminal will be established in Khalifa Port, which will be the first semi-automated container port in the GCC region. The terminal will be managed by a joint venture owned by CMA CGM's subsidiary CMA Terminals (with a 70 per cent stake) and AD Ports Group (30 per cent stake).

The partners are expected to commit approximately Dh570 million to the project, AD Ports Group said in a statement.

With construction starting in 2021, the new terminal is set to be handed over in 2024 with, in phase 1, an initial quay length of 800 metres and an estimated annual capacity of 1.8 million TEUs. AD Ports Group will be responsible for developing a wide range of supporting marine works and infrastructure. This includes up to a total of 1,200 metres of quay wall, a 3,800-metre breakwater, a fully built-out rail platform, and a 700,000 sqm terminal yard, it said.

The terminal will provide CMA CGM with a new regional hub and will enable the Group to develop its service offering between Abu Dhabi and South Asia, Western Asia, East Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean as well as the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent.

Falah Mohammed Al Ahbabi, chairman of AD Ports Group, said the UAE has become a key investment destination among many of the world's leading players seeking to extend their reach into the Middle East.

"One of the key factors that has greatly contributed to the economic growth of Abu Dhabi and the UAE has been our stable economic environment that is ripe for foreign investment. This landmark agreement with the CMA CGM Group is a prime example of those continued efforts and one that will significantly accelerate trade and the development of industry in the UAE and beyond," he said.

Al Ahbabi said the agreement would aid the group to realise its long-term ambitions to become a top 10 ports, industrial, and logistics operator by expanding our capacity and growth across the region and beyond.

"In all, we project that over the next five years the CMA Terminals joint venture will drive the further development of the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), while simultaneously contributing significantly to the national GDP."

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, group CEO, AD Ports Group, said the addition of a new container terminal at Khalifa Port opens a new chapter in the organisation's efforts to become a key facilitator of global trade.

"With the addition of another leading worldwide shipping group company, will make Khalifa Port a hub for three of the world's top four shipping companies. This addition creates opportunities to open trade routes to new markets in Europe, Africa, Western Asia, and South Asia. At home, we expect the presence of the shipping line terminal, which will link directly to Khalifa Port's upcoming rail terminal and utilise its services, to accelerate trade flows moving in and out of the UAE, while also encouraging CMA CGM Group's customers to consider establishing a presence in Abu Dhabi," said Al Shamisi.

Rodolphe Saadé, chairman and chief executive officer of the CMA CGM Group, said the new project marks an important milestone in CMA CGM's development strategy in the region.

"This state-of-the-art terminal will contribute to enhancing Khalifa Port's position as a leading global hub and to boosting the region's economy, accelerating trade flows in and out of Abu Dhabi."

- issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com

author

Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.





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