ADT signs 30-year concession for Khalifa Port Container Terminal 1
Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT) yesterday secured the exclusive right to manage and operate the first Khalifa Port container terminal by signing a 30-year concession with Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC).
The concession for Khalifa Port Container Terminal 1 was signed during a ceremony at Emirates Palace attended by major players from the public and private sectors of the UAE’s shipping industry. The state-of-the-art facility, which began commercial operations on September 1 this year, was formally inaugurated last week.
The agreement with ADPC, Khalifa Port’s owner and regulator, means ADT will manage and operate the new container terminal as it grows in stature as an international shipping hub. The port’s deep sea berths, hulking ship-to-shore (STS) cranes and automated technology are already a big draw for the major shipping lines.
“The concession secures the effective management and operation of Khalifa Port Container Terminal 1 for the next 30 years and will help to enable significant industrial development and diversification,” said Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the Chairman of ADPC. “As a world-class gateway, Khalifa Port will enable businesses in Kizad to have a competitive edge in global trade that will allow them to thrive.”
Kizad, or the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, is slightly less than 420 square kilometres of land for industrial development adjacent to the new port island. Together, the two projects are expected to contribute 15 per cent of the capital’s non-oil gross domestic product by 2030.
Dr Al Jaber added: “The concession clarifies the relationship between the owner and regulator and the manager and operator of the container terminal and ensures a healthy relationship for many years to come.”
Khalifa Port currently operates six of the world’s largest STS cranes and the only semi-automated container terminal in the Middle East. After another three STS cranes and 12 stacking cranes are delivered by 2014, it will have the capacity to handle 2.5 million containers annually, finishing phase one of the project. The capacity of the existing port island can then be doubled to five million containers per annum in line with demand.
“We’re committed to the development of Khalifa Port Container Terminal 1 and the creation of a hub that can offer complete network solutions to the world’s biggest shipping lines,” said Capt Mohamed Al Shamisi, Chairman, ADT. “With its deep berths and giant cranes, the facility has the ability to service the largest container ships at sea.”
Capt Al Shamisi said the inauguration of Khalifa Port on December 12, 2012, was a tremendous boost for Abu Dhabi and “the signing of the concession was a milestone” for ADT.
“By signing this agreement, we have cemented long-term cooperation with ADPC and secured our commitment to growing this burgeoning terminal into an international giant,” said Martijn Van de Linde, the Chief Executive Officer of ADT.
Mr Van de Linde said: “We helped plan the terminal, we designed its operation methodology and we managed the redirection of container traffic from the city centre; now, we can focus on growing the container business and providing local industry with a gateway to the world.”
ADT planned the strategic redirection of Abu Dhabi’s container business from Mina Zayed, a 40-year-old port in the city centre, to Khalifa Port. The move was completed three months ahead of schedule and less than three months after the facility began commercial operations. It involved moving the operations of 24 major shipping lines to the new facility at Taweelah, 60 kilometres from Abu Dhabi Island.
“The port is already bustling and it will expand in stages, as and when market forces demand, until it is one of the largest in the world,” said Tony Douglas, the Chief Executive Officer of ADPC. “With a strategic location at the centre of maritime trade, world-class technology and a flourishing local economy, the project has everything it needs to be a global success.
“As the developer of Abu Dhabi’s ports, we have been involved with Khalifa Port since the very beginning and now we are looking forward to many successful years ahead,” Mr Douglas said.