Tuesday, May 8, 2018

New Container Terminal with Deeper Berths and More Cranes as MSC Invests in Abu Dhabi Port Complex

Billion Dollar Deal by Swiss Shipping and Logistics Outfit
Shipping News Feature
UAE – SWITZERLAND – Abu Dhabi Ports has signed a 30 year concession agreement with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) to establish a new container terminal in the UAE located at Khalifa Port, which will see the Swiss-based shipping and logistics giant invest around $1.1 billion into the new development over the course of the agreement. Diego Aponte, President and Chief Executive Officer of MSC, commented:

“MSC is delighted to be part of the UAE’s maritime sector growth. The UAE has a rich history in international trade and after two decades of operating in the country, MSC is pleased to continue to support the growth of the local maritime economy. We are confident that with this investment we will continue to ensure a high level of service for our customers and have the capacity to grow the scale of our operations in the UAE.”

The planned developments at the port include an increase in the current 12 ship-to-shore cranes to make a total of 25 of some of the most technologically advanced cranes in the world, over the next two years, as well as deepening the berths to allow Khalifa Port to receive the largest shipping vessels in the world specialising in bulk cargo shipment. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports commented on the signings saying:

“Under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the UAE has made historic strides in both economic and social development, striving to be a leader in the maritime sector, positioning itself on the global economic and trade map.

“These agreements cement the UAE and Abu Dhabi’s position as a global trading, shipping and logistics hub. This agreement will also promote economic growth and increased investment through the rise in container traffic. The UAE has been successful in implementing large infrastructure projects, and this has been due, to a large extent, to the presence of the world’s most technologically advanced ports, modern and integrated transportation networks, as well as its strategic location as a central hub between Asia, Europe and Africa, attracting emerging and developed markets with excellent prospects for growth.”

Since the inauguration of Khalifa Port by Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, in December 2012, the location is viewed by many as a testament to the advanced engineering practices in the region, in addition to the success of the government’s strategic plans to build world-class infrastructure projects. Within the past five years, Khalifa Port has been recognised as one of the most modern and technologically advanced world ports. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said:

"Such achievements during a record period confirm the success of UAE plans and strategies and the contribution of public and private sectors in building an economy based on solid foundations that in return offers promising opportunities."

“The guidance and vision of the leadership has played a pivotal role in the economic and social development of the UAE, as they build a sustainable and diversified economy based on innovation and knowledge, offering outstanding new avenues for growth for future generations.”

In welcoming the investment, Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Chief Executive Officer at Abu Dhabi Ports, said:

“Khalifa Port plays a vital role in Abu Dhabi Ports’ strategy that aims to further enhance the capital and the UAE’s economic and trade positioning on a regional and global level. MSC will invest a total of AED four billion over the life of concession agreement in operational equipment.

“The agreement with MSC is yet another remarkable milestone in Abu Dhabi Ports journey and the region as a whole. This agreement comes with multiple strategic benefits to customers and companies working shipping and logistics, including faster and more efficient services, easier access to more markets in the region and the world. In addition to, attracting more foreign direct investment to Abu Dhabi and the region, especially in the Khalifa Industrial City and KPFTZ, the largest of its kind in the Middle East.

“Abu Dhabi Ports has successfully attracted two of the world largest companies in the field of shipping and container handling to develop a regional hub at Khalifa Port. Over the next five years, the capacity of two container terminals at Khalifa Port will increase to more than 8.5 million TEUs annually,"

The new container terminal represents one of MSC's strategic investments as one of the world’s leading container shipping lines. MSC operates 480 offices across 150 countries worldwide, while its shipping line sails on more than 200 trade routes, calling at 500 ports. MSC plans to gradually shift some of its container handling in the region to Khalifa Port, starting July 2018. This is set to increase Khalifa Port’s capacity from 2.5 million TEUs in 2017 to 5.3 million TEUs by 2020, making it one of the top 25 ports worldwide in handling containers, beginning next year.

Photo: Diego Aponte, President and CEO of MSC and Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports.