By Elizabeth Broomhall
Phase one of the port is 95% complete, will replace Mina Zayed and handle 2m TEUs
Abu Dhabi’s major port project, the Khalifa Port, is to open in Q4 this year, developer Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) has said.
The harbour, which will replace existing facilities in Mina Zayed, received its first batch of STS container cranes this week as it prepares for completion of phase one - the port island.
“Phase one of the port is now 95 percent completed and the arrival of these cranes signals that we are now on the home straight,” said Mohamed Al Shamisi, vice president of ports at ADPC.
“Once complete, the port will continually review and upgrade its services, and more facilities will be added, such as bunkering, break bulking and the handling of general cargo.”
The Khalifa Port will be the first semi-automated port in the region, equipped to handle an initial capacity of 2m TEU container traffic and 12m tonnes of general cargo annually.
It will perform a secondary role to the Khalifa Industrial Zone (KIZAD), facilitating its operation by allowing manufacturers access to seawater cooling and supplies by boat.
Officials said upon commencing the project that there was an imminent need to increase the capacity of Abu Dhabi ports in preparation for millions tonnes of extra general cargo expected to hit UAE shores in the coming years.
Abu Dhabi’s older port, Mina Zayed, has a capacity of 650,000 TEUs and 7.5m tonnes of general cargo.
By 2030, the aim is to have increased capacity to 15m TEUs and 35m tonnes of general cargo, with a gradual phasing in of the new facilities.
Khalifa Port, situated in Taweelah - halfway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai - will be connected to the mainland via a series of highways, roads and utility distribution networks, as well as a nationwide freight railway line, making it the first port in the UAE to have heavy rail connectivity.
Unlike other ports, it will also be open to receive any kind of vessels, including military and cruise ships, rather than container ships exclusively.
Martijn Van de Linde, CEO of the port’s operator Abu Dhabi Terminals, said: “The work is on schedule, but there is still a lot to do."
“We will be ready to start operations in the fourth quarter of 2012.”
The wider ADPC team leading this megaproject is proud to contribute to the diversification and development of Abu Dhabi. We confirm it will be a success.
Alexander Matthey, PMP
VP PMO ADPC