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Abu Dhabi Ports signs container terminal concession with COSCO

Abu Dhabi Ports (ADP) has signed a container terminal concession agreement with COSCO Shipping Ports Limited – Abu Dhabi (CSPL SPV), a wholly-owned subsidiary of COSCO Shipping Ports Limited.

The event was held in the presence of Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports, Zheng Chiping, Deputy Director of the foreign investment department of the National Development and Reform Commission of PRC and Wan Min, President of China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited.

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports and Zhang Wei, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of COSCO Shipping Ports Limited signed the agreement, launching a new and prosperous journey of Abu Dhabi Ports, in line with the aspirations of Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 for a more diversified economy.

COSCO Shipping Ports Limited will operate a container terminal with a draft depth of 18 metres, with 1200 metres of quay wall and adjacent land. The first 800 metres of the quay length (and the corresponding concession area) is expected to commence operations in H1 2018 and the last 400 metres (and the corresponding expanded concession area) is expected to commence operations in 2020. Once the expansion areas are occupied, the concession area will span an area of approximately 70 hectares with three berths, which will add 2.4 million TEUs a year to the port’s existing capacity of 2.5 million.

The agreement includes the option for a further 600 metres of quay length in the future to allow for anticipated volume growth. With this the nominal annual handling capacity will increase to 3.5 million TEUs when all phases are complete, creating a new overall annual capacity of up to 6 million TEUs.

The global port operator giant is establishing a joint venture company to operate the new Khalifa Port Container Terminal 2, one of the world’s fastest growing container ports and a leading hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. As per the agreement, the joint venture company will be entitled to concession rights of Terminal 2 for a span of 35 years, with a renewable period of 5 additional years. CSPL SPV will have the controlling stake in the joint venture company.

Among others who attended included Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development; Staff Major-General Pilot Faris Khalaf Khalfan Al Mazrouei, Chairman of Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority, and Lin Yaduo, Charge d’affaires at the Chinese Embassy in the UAE, and other senior officials from both entities.

“The signing of the concession agreement between Abu Dhabi Ports Company and COSCO Shipping Ports Limited will significantly expand trade between China, the UAE and the broader region. It will greatly enhance the UAE and Abu Dhabi’s role as a key logistics and trading hub, between East and West and will also serve to further diversify the UAE’s dynamic and growing economy,” said Dr. Al Jaber.

“Under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China, our two countries have enjoyed strong bilateral ties across a number of strategic sectors,” Dr Al Jaber added.

Wan Min, President of China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited, said, “Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Port is a strategic hub along the ‘One Belt One Road’, as it has unique geographical advantage for the development of terminal and logistics businesses. Its well-developed transportation and nearby ample supply of cargoes are conducive for Khalifa Port to become the next hub port in the Middle East region.

“Khalifa Port Container Terminal 2 will be the second overseas terminal in which COSCO Shipping Ports holds the controlling interest. This investment is expected to strengthen COSCO Shipping Ports’ sustainable growth and create value for our shareholders. With the strong support from the large container shipping fleet of COSCO Shipping Group, COSCO Shipping Ports will dedicate its efforts to develop Khalifa Port Container Terminal 2 as a hub of the Upper Gulf region in the Middle East for international container shipping liners. We are confident that the project will stimulate the implementation of ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative, and will promote strategic cooperation between China and the UAE.”

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, said, “The Khalifa Port is continuously growing and expanding in every aspect – adding value for its key stakeholders and the international community. Through the new synergy, COSCO Shipping Ports Limited will bring additional volumes to the Port – adding to Abu Dhabi Terminals’ on-going business in Abu Dhabi. It will also ensure that the Khalifa Port maintains a competitive environment in serving the shipping industry as well as local business. Along with the added capacity, the shipping giant will facilitate specialist expertise, experience, technologies, practices and knowledge transfer, increasing Abu Dhabi Ports’ competitiveness on a global scale.”

The expansion of the quay wall is part of the broader developments at the Khalifa Port, which include an innovative new terminal booking, tracking and transaction system for sea and land-based users, advanced RoRo facilities, new liner calls, the development of a regional liner hub and transhipment business to South Asia, as well as the addition of approximately 14.5 million square metres now leased in the adjacent Khalifa Industrial Zone (KIZAD).

Other developments and agreements continue to take Abu Dhabi Ports to the next level as a maritime trade gateway to the world’s fastest growing economies.

NEW HIGHWAY

The opening of the new Mohammed bin Rashid Road is a major milestone in enabling Khalifa Port’s expansion and growth plans. Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi said in a statement that the new motorway will serve as a strategic artery linking Abu Dhabi with the rest of UAE as well as the neighbouring countries, enhancing the emirate’s leading position in regional and international trade by improving the movement of merchandise and goods across the country as well as in and out of the UAE.

Al Shamisi also pointed out that Abu Dhabi Ports is pushing ahead with its efforts to improve Khalifa Port’s facilities to meet evolving customer needs, and that the opening of the new road would complement plans to upgrade infrastructure at the port to enable it to handle some of the world’s largest ships and accommodate anticipated short to medium term growth in the industry.

The 62 kilometre-long road begins at the Emirates Road junction at Seih Shuaib and stretches to the Sweihan Road in Abu Dhabi, passing Al Maha Forest, Khalifa Port and KIZAD. One of the major infrastructure projects carried out by Abu Dhabi in recent years, the highway was constructed to the latest international safety standards and technical specifications

Maqta Gateway launches digital vessel operations

Abu Dhabi Ports has announced the launch of its digital Vessel Management System which offers customers and stakeholders complete automation of all vessel management processes and services through its Port Community System, Maqta Gateway.

Through the new, demand-driven Vessel Management System, all vessels arriving at any of Abu Dhabi’s commercial ports will be able to process the needed formalities and exchange unified digital information with the Port Community. Services covered by the system include vessel registration, voyage declaration, vessel call requests, as well as requesting port clearance, marine services, berth shifting and more.

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi commented: “Abu Dhabi Ports has reached yet another milestone in its continuous commitment to offering innovative and competitive solutions to its customers and stakeholders. We are delighted to share the news of launching the Vessel Management System with our partners today which was made possible through our Port Community System, Maqta Gateway.”

“The Vessel Management System was built around the needs of local industries and will play an integral role in streamlining and facilitating the import and export activities at our commercial ports, further boosting Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading maritime trade hub in the region. This is closely connected to our support of the digital transformation mandate of Abu Dhabi’s government services as we constantly strive to introduce new ways that ease the process of doing business in the Emirate,” added Al Shamisi.

Dr. Noura Al Dhaheri, General Manager of Maqta Gateway, added: “Maqta Gateway’s Port Community System is transforming the logistics supply chain and is enhancing the competitiveness of Abu Dhabi’s maritime and trade industry. The Vessel Management System provides community stakeholders with an efficient tool that will improve and facilitate the way they conduct their business by integrating all vessel management operations and services through the Port Community System.”

“Our team has conducted extensive research and studies to improve the traditional vessel management operations through utilising best-in-class practices which were then adjusted to the local industry needs before being implemented to all of our commercial ports. We look forward to celebrating more milestones in the future.”

Shipping agents representing vessels operating in Khalifa Port, Musaffah Port, Zayed Port and the Free Ports have concluded the vessel management training module conducted by the Maqta Gateway team in September ahead of its full implementation.

5 Million Containers’ Milestone

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Terminals has announced that on October 28 it set a new record by handling 5 million containers representing a major achievement for Khalifa Port Container Terminal (KPCT). The record number was achieved serving the CMA CGM, a vessel belonging to ADT’s long-term customer, CMA CGM Pegasus.

The new throughput milestone follows terminal operator ADT’s success in the first half of 2016, which saw Khalifa Port handle 11% more containers than the same period in 2015. Notable and consistent year-on-year growth since KPTC’s inauguration in 2012 represents its increasing role as a crucial logistics hub connecting local and regional trade to global markets. It also represents the success of ADT’s significant investments in KPCT’s infrastructure and facilities to create the Middle East’s first semi-automated and most technologically advanced container terminal.

“This milestone represents a great achievement in KPCT’s relatively short operational period and truly demonstrates that ADT is on track to become one of the leading container terminal operators in the world. It is a testament to ADT’s vision and spirit, and the investments we have made to continually improve and expand our capabilities and resources,” said Abu Dhabi Terminals CEO, Martijn van De Linde.

“We pride ourselves on our commitment to our loyal customers and they share in our success and we will continue to strive to exceed their expectations going forward,” he added.

Since its establishment in 2006, ADT has achieved regional and international industry recognition for its unwavering commitment to safety, innovation, and excellence, and its rapid growth and success have been globally lauded.

SAFEEN INDUCTS 3 NEW TUGS

Abu Dhabi Marine Services “Safeen”, the marine services subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports, supporting the operations of the network of ports and harbours across the emirate of Abu Dhabi with a range of maritime and quayside-support services.

Three new state-of-the-art tugs, specialising in towing and escorting the world’s largest ships that now regularly call at locations in Abu Dhabi, have been integrated into Safeen’s existing fleet. The 75 BP ASD Azimuth Stern Drive tugs based at Khalifa Port can support the latest generation post-panamax container vessels capable of handling some 18,000 TEUs (standard 20-foot containers).

The acquisition of the tugs reflects the increasing demand in the first half of 2016, reiterating the status of Abu Dhabi’s ports as among the fastest growing in the world. With their strategic location, the ports serve as gateways to the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region that is estimated to be worth US$10 trillion by 2020.

Over the years Safeen has also strengthened its reputation as one of the safest and most environmentally responsible global service operators across its range of services that include vessel assistance, navigational support, inspections and shipping maintenance at Abu Dhabi’s ports and harbours. Safeen has received the internationally prestigious ISO 14001: 2004 recognising best practices in environmental management systems, and the OHSAS 18001: 2007 issued by Lloyd’s of London certifying best-in-class occupational health and safety in the maritime, shipping and logistics sectors.