By Staff writer
Stage one will transport sulphur from Shah and Habshan to the port of Ruwais on two daily trains, each transporting 11,000 tonnes
Etihad Rail has been given the green light to start commercial operations on stage one of the UAE's $11 billion transport project.
Dr Abdulla Bilhaif Al-Nuaimi, Minister of Public Works and chairman of the Federal Transport Authority - Land & Maritime (FTA), on Wednesday granted the official safety authorisations.
Stage one will transport sulphur from Shah and Habshan to the port of Ruwais on two daily trains, each transporting 11,000 tonnes. This will dramatically decrease the number of trucks on the road, a statement said.
The safety authorisations were granted during a ceremony in Dubai, which accredited Etihad Rail's operations partner Etihad Rail DB to begin commercial operations on the 264km route, which forms part of the wider UAE network spanning across 1,200km and the future GCC network.
"We are very pleased to have granted these important safety authorisations for the first stage of the UAE's national rail network, allowing Etihad Rail to begin commercial operations," said Dr Al-Nuaimi.
Nasser Alsowaidi, chairman of Etihad Rail, added: "The start of commercial operations is one of the biggest milestones we have achieved to date and it is an incredibly proud day for Etihad Rail, for the UAE and for the wider Middle East transport sector.
"We now look forward to taking our operations to full commercial capacity, which will see Etihad Rail transport as much as seven million tonnes of sulphur every year."
Covering 628km, stage two will involve the completion of the rail network in the Abu Dhabi Emirate by connecting to the Saudi border at Ghweifat and the Omani border at Al Ain, and by connecting vital areas such as Mussaffah, Khalifa Port and Jebel Ali Port in Dubai.
Preliminary design and engineering for stage two have been completed and the tender process for six construction packages is in the final stages of evaluation.