Headquartered in Hong Kong, COSCO SHIPPING Ports Ltd., (CSP) a subsidiary and listed company of China COSCO in partnership with Abu Dhabi Ports, a master developer and manager of ports and industrial zones in Abu Dhabi recently inaugurated the CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal at Khalifa Port.
This new terminal now allows Abu Dhabi to become the regional hub for COSCO’s worldwide network of 36 ports.
The terminal covers 275,000m2 making it the largest Container Freight Station (CFS) in the Middle East. The semi-automated state-of-the-art facility provides facilities for full and partial bonded container shipments, the full range of container packing services, short-term warehousing for de-consolidated cargo along with easy access to other container terminals in Khalifa Port.
An investment of AED1.1 billion has been made so far by CSP for capital expenditure on construction and machinery at the terminal. The new partnership is part of Abu Dhabi Ports five-year strategy to bolster the maritime industry in Abu Dhabi in line with Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.
Abu Dhabi Ports has set aside AED10 billion for investment to increase capacity at Khalifa Port from the 5 million TEU to 9.1 million TEU. The new terminal has been designed to handle a capacity of 2.5 million TEU, however, for the initial infancy period will handle 1.5 million TEU. The water depth is 16.5 meters with a quay 1200 meters in length enabling it to accept vessels carrying in excess of 20,000 TEU.
During the inauguration, His Highness Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said, “The UAE, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE President, continues to develop advanced infrastructure across social and economic sectors.”
His Highness also commented on the relationship between China and the UAE, “China and the UAE share a strong and long-standing bond across a variety of ties, including economic, cultural, and trade and investment, and a common vision of a stable and prosperous future for our peoples and the world. We look forward to nurturing our partnership in a spirit of friendly cooperation.”
Vice Chairman and Managing Director of CSP, Mr. Zhang Wei said, “We are launching this semi-automatic terminal to serve vessels of all sizes and to help ensure a promising future for this region. CSP Abu Dhabi terminal will be equipped with value-added services such as feeder service network and easy connectivity with container terminals in Khalifa Port. It’s our broader strategy to develop Abu Dhabi as a regional logistics and trade hub and link it with industrial free zones to expand and diversify the economy. Backed by our parent company, we will harness our unparalleled strengths to turn Abu Dhabi into a regional hub and a competitive shipping service center.”
Chairman of the Department of Transport, His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, had this to say on the new terminal, “The decision by COSCO SHIPPING Ports to invest in Abu Dhabi is a testament to our strategic location, attractive business environment and supportive regulation. We believe that it will open the door to more foreign direct investment in the Emirate.”
CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi said, “CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal connects Khalifa Port to COSCO’s global network, making it not only one of the largest ports across the Middle East and Indian subcontinent but a global maritime hub.
“Abu Dhabi’s strategic location as a gateway to the MENA region makes it an important partner for China’s Belt and Road Initiative, connecting Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks along six corridors.”
Chairman of COSCO Shipping, Captain Xu Lirong said, “The completion of CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal is just another milestone in the successful partnership between China and Abu Dhabi, and it will prove to be fruitful cooperation between the two countries. Port business is one of the important parts of COSCO; we will support the development of the terminal to the fullest extent of our capability by developing shipping routes and transshipment network to drive the volume growth of CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal. The terminal is set to be a pivot for us to develop a global maritime hub for international transshipment and logistics.”