Abu Dhabi Ports along with partners will be investing more than Dh10 billion in the expansion of Khalifa port as well create new facilities to boost growth, a top executive of Abu Dhabi Ports said.
“We [Abu Dhabi Ports] will commit Dh4 billion in terms of our overall development in the next five years but that’s already started to be spent on this phase of the development. Also our partners will be investing at the same time,” said Ross Thompson, chief commercial and strategy officer of Abu Dhabi Ports during a media briefing recently.
MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company will be investing Dh4 billion to develop a container terminal at Khalifa Port and the money will be spent on operational equipment as well as in deepening the berths to handle some of the world’s largest shipping vessels.
The Swiss-based global transportation and logistics firm signed a 30-year concession agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports last month in this regard.
Cosco shipping from China will also build and operate a terminal at Khalifa Port apart from creating new facilities in Kizad (Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi). It will invest Dh2.7 billion over the lifetime of its agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports.
“The overall investment will be more than Dh10 billion. We will be creating a new island called South Island in khalifa port for general cargo and bulk purposes. We also signed a partnership agreement with Autoterminal (a member of Noatum Maritime Group) to provide world class services in vehicle handling and vehicle logistics,” Thompson said.
The port capacity will be increased from 2.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) to 8.5 million TEUs in the next five years as part of the expansion plans of Khalifa Port, he added.
The development comes as Abu Dhabi invests heavily to diversify its economy and move away from oil as part of its vision 2030. A number of new projects are being undertaken to boost retail, infrastructure, tourism and leisure sectors as the capital eyes further growth.
“Our mandate is to drive value for Abu Dhabi economy and we position ourselves in a way that we do that through enabling maritime infrastructure and logistics infrastructure to promote trade flow and foreign direct investment,” Thompson said. “Our strategy is also to promote with international partners who can accelerate their business in the region and also accelerate our ambition as well.”
On expansion plans overseas, he said they are looking to expand into marine, shipping services and logistics provision. “There are attractive areas for companies like us. We see the greatest value in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. We do see value in the Middle East,” he said without elaborating further.
Abu Dhabi Ports currently manages operations of a container terminal in the Republic of Guinea in Africa.
Asked if Abu Dhabi Ports was eyeing an initial public offering (IPO), he said there’re no such plans.