By Karen Leigh
Channel project set to boost trade in capital city, says state-backed ports operator
State-owned Abu Dhabi Ports Co (ADPC) said on Tuesday it took operational charge of the new AED1.5bn ($408m) Mussafah channel that would enhance trade in the emirate.
Abu Dhabi's Urban Planning Council completed the construction of the 53km channel project and handed it over to ADPC, a company statement said.
The project has now replaced the existing access channel to the emirate's Mussafah Industrial Area and only smaller ships will use the "old" channel in the near future.
Oil rich Abu Dhabi continues to spend billions of dollars on infrastructure development as it diversifies its economy into industry and tourism.
"The new channel is certain to make a big difference to the competitiveness of industry in Abu Dhabi, facilitating imports and exports," Tony Douglas, CEO of ADPC said in the statement.
The minimum depth of the channel is 9 metres and minimum width is 200 metres. The channel allows for two-way vessel traffic of large bulk carriers, the statement said.
ADPC's portfolio includes Abu Dhabi's Mina Zayed (port) and the Khalifa Port, phase one of which will open in the fourth quarter of 2012.