Cosco inks deal to build and operate new container terminal at Khalifa Port
Sept 29, 2016: Abu Dhabi Ports has joined hands with China’s largest shipping company Cosco in an effort to more than double the container-handling capacity at Khalifa Port over the next 35 years.
Abu Dhabi port will expand the quay wall and dredge the harbour to add an additional 2 metres of depth to allow the world’s biggest ships to dock. This is part of Abu Dhabi’s broader strategy to develop the port as a regional hub and link it with industrial free zones to expand and diversify the economy.
"The 35-year concession agreement [with Cosco Shipping] is a unique opportunity to expand trade between China and the UAE and strengthen trade in the UAE and other Gulf countries," said Sultan Al Jaber, the Minister of State and the chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports.
"Abu Dhabi Ports sees the deal as greatly enhancing Abu Dhabi’s role as a key logistics trading hub between East and West and in diversifying the UAE economy," said Mr Al Jaber, who is also head of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc).
Khalifa Port currently processes 2.5 million containers annually and it has set a goal to raise annual capacity to 15 million containers by 2030.
Under the terms of the deal, Cosco has committed to building out the container infrastructure and to operate, initially, 1,200 metres of quay and yard with a capacity to process annually an additional 2.4 million standard-sized containers.
Abu Dhabi Ports’ chief executive, Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, said Cosco Shipping is expected to start operations on the first 800 metres of quay in the first half of 2018, with the other 400 metres coming onstream in 2020. In a filing, the company said the Abu Dhabi investment would total US$738 million.
The timing will depend on the expansion project hitting deadline and there are 250 workers already working on the first 1,000 metres of quay wall expansion, which will add 600,000 square metres of space for cargo handling.
Cosco Shipping also has an option to take an additional 600 metres of quay space, increasing the capacity by a further 1.1 million containers, taking total annual capacity to 3.5 million containers.