COSCO Shipping Ports (CSP) and Abu Dhabi Ports have inaugurated the CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal at Khalifa Port – positioning Abu Dhabi as the regional hub for COSCO’s global network of 36 ports and further connecting the Emirate to the major trade hubs along the Belt and Road Initiative.
The deepwater, semi-automated container terminal includes the largest container freight station in the Middle East, covering 275,000 m2. The terminal is also the first international greenfield subsidiary of CSP, a subsidiary of China COSCO Shipping. CSP has so far invested AED1.1Bn (US$299M) in capital expenditure on construction and machinery at the terminal.
A statement explained that the partnership with COSCO Shipping Ports is part of a 5-year strategy by Abu Dhabi Ports aimed at strengthening the maritime sector in Abu Dhabi and driving economic diversification, in line with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, by increasing regional trade and attracting foreign direct investment. Abu Dhabi Ports has earmarked AED10Bn in investment that will increase capacity at Khalifa Port from the current 5M TEU to 9.1M TEU, which includes boosting capacity at Terminal 1 to more than 5M TEU.
The CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal has a design capacity of 2.5M TEU and will begin with a handling capacity of 1.5M TEU, with 1,200 m of quay. The water depth of the terminal is 16.5 m, allowing it to accommodate mega-vessels typically carrying in excess of 20,000 TEU.
Abu Dhabi chief executive 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.”
The new terminal is part of Abu Dhabi Ports’ 5-year growth strategy to increase Khalifa Port, with its two container terminals, to a combined capacity of 9.1M TEU. The addition of CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal has catapulted Khalifa Port from being the 89th largest container port in world rankings to within the top 25.