Sun, 02 April 2017

Abu Dhabi Ports, the master developer, operator and manager of the emirate’s ports and Khalifa Industrial Zone, has announced a major expansion plan for its Khalifa Port Free Trade Zone (KPFTZ) to accommodate more industries.

Currently, 40 companies operate in the free trade zone in a range of sectors including industrial, trading and services. The new free trade zone will be connected to the future rail network for the transport of goods.

The 100 sq km Khalifa Port Free Trade Zone, located next to Khalifa Port, is the second fastest growing port in the world, and poised to become the future of trade in Abu Dhabi.

The expansion will offer significant value to investors, while strengthening Abu Dhabi’s position as a thriving maritime hub in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia region.

Last year, the Khalifa Port container terminal intensified expansion efforts to accommodate the world’s largest ships. The development at the port, one of the world’s fastest growing container, bulk cargo and roll-on roll-off vehicle transport ports, will add 1,000 metres of quay wall to the port and deepen its main channel and basin to 18m from the current 16m. The new quay wall will add an additional 600,000 sqm for cargo handling.

The port’s container terminal currently has a capacity of some 2.5m twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) a year, while its general cargo handling capacity stands at about 12m tonnes per annum, according to Abu Dhabi Ports. The container facility is the first semi-automated container terminal in the Middle East region.

Initial step in implementing this plan has been the signing of a contract with the National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC) which will start preparatory work on dredging the channels and using this material to build up the new 1,000-m-long quay wall and the adjacent yard behind it. About 250 workers will be involved in the expansion project work, which is scheduled for completion in mid-2018.

Abu Dhabi Ports has also signed a concession agreement with the China based Cosco Shipping Ports Limited to build and operate a terminal at Khalifa Port.