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Tue 19 Oct 2010 02:01 AM

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Abu Dhabi Ports awards $3bn in contracts for new port

$7.2bn Khalifa Port & Industrial Zone expected to be two thirds the size of Singapore

Abu Dhabi Ports awards $3bn in contracts for new port
FIRST PHASE: Abu Dhabis Ports Co has awarded about $3bn in contracts so far to build the first phase of the Khalifa Port & Industrial Zone

Abu Dhabi Ports Co has awarded about 11 billion dirhams ($3 billion) in contracts so far to build the first phase of its new port and industrial zone, its chief executive said on Monday.

The first phase of Khalifa Port & Industrial Zone (KPIZ) in Abu Dhabi, which is expected to be two thirds the size of Singapore, is estimated to cost around $7.2 billion, CEO Tony Douglas told Reuters.

"We're in the order of about $2.99 billion of it, that's already committed," said the executive, who took the helm of Abu Dhabi Ports in June. "I think we've done about $1.6 billion (in contracts) in the last three or four months."

"The contracts include the port island construction phase which is obviously from the ground up," he said. "so, that's all the port buildings, all of the infrastructure that goes on top of the port and all of the systems."

KPIZ will be built over five phases and the state owned company is also developing smaller ports in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, the world's third largest oil exporter, is investing billions of dollars in infrastructure, real estate and tourism to diversify its economy away from oil.

The first phase of Khalifa Port is scheduled to open in 2012, and will replace Abu Dhabi's existing main port of Mina Zayed, with an initial capacity of 2 million twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers and 9 million tonnes of general cargo.

When completed, Khalifa Port will have a capacity of 15 million TEUs of containers and 35 million tonnes of general cargo.

Douglas said the company has credit lines with National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Al Hilal Bank, Union Bank and HSBC.

He said: "The equity side of (the balance sheet) is supported by Abu Dhabi government and we've got a soft loan arrangement in place with Abu Dhabi government on a secondary debt facility from the four banks."

He declined to elaborate on any debt raising plans. (Reuters)

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