Khalifa Port to contribute $22b to UAE's GDP on completion.
Khalifa Ports and Industrial Zone (KPIZ) at Taweelah, set to be Abu Dhabi's largest port, will open in the last quarter of 2012 with an initial capacity of two million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent container units), top company officials said Monday. Mohammad Al Shamisi, vice-president of port operations at Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC), speaking at the Middle East Ports 2010 conference on Monday, said that the initial capacity would include 8 million tonnes of general cargo, which is four times the capacity of Mina Zayed, the city's largest existing port.
Mina Zayed port, which handled 530,000 TEUs of cargo and 4.9 million tonnes of general cargo last year, will be transferring its operations to the new Khalifa Port as it comes online.
Covering 40 square kilometres, three times the size of Abu Dhabi island, the Khalifa port will have a total capacity of 15 million TEUs and 35 million tonnes of other cargo at the end of the five-phase construction in 2030.
Initially, plans were to finish construction of the port by 2038 and bring a capacity of 22 million TEUs to the market. Walid Al Tamimi, vice-president of the ports projects unit at ADPC, told reporters that studies and paperwork processes had delayed the opening by two years.
"It's difficult to decide the end capacity. We have to see how the market picks up in the future. Then we'll make another business plan, another forecast, to see if there will be further expansion necessary. "Where we select to put the container terminal is yet to be decided," he said on the sidelines of the conference.
The initial capacity of two million TEUs is less than half of the available space utilised in the first phase, according to Al Tamimi.
Close to airport
Located mid-way between Abu Dhabi city and Dubai, the port will be close to the new Al Maktoum International Airport. When complete, KPIZ is expected to have 141,000 residents and 70,000 jobs and contribute $22 billion (Dh80.8 billion) to the GDP of the UAE. Sixty to 80 per cent of its cargo will be exported to regional and global markets.
Adjacent to the port, the Industrial Zone Area A will cover 51 square kilometres, while Area B will be developed in two phases for further expansion. The port and industrial Area A will serve the market demand until 2030. ADPC has set aside a land area of 300 square kilometres for development beyond 2030.
Al Tamimi said that 2010 would see road and infrastructure contracts being awarded for the industrial zone, but did not mention their value.
Al Shamisi said the port would be a "main anchor" for industries such as manufacturing and logistics. The port currently has a separate berth for Emirates Aluminium (Emal), the aluminium smelter that will begin operations at the end of this year.
Out of the $10-billion estimated project cost, ADPC spent Dh825 million to build an environmental breakwater to protect the corals in the area.
Ten new ports in offing
ADPC is developing 10 new ports in the capital city, which include the new Mussafah Port. The existing port in the area has limited capacity, with just a 300-metre quay wall.
"There are a lot of urban projects taking place such as bridges and tunnels. We want to develop the new port to support the new industrial areas and also to be close to the new Mussafah channel," Al Tamimi said.
The new port will serve the nearby industrial areas in Mussafah that are being developed under the ICAD (Industrial City of Abu Dhabi) authority.
Mussafah Channel relocation is a Dh1.5-billion project that includes building bridges and a new channel 63 kilometres long, 200 metres wide and with a draft of nine metres. The project will be completed at the end of June this year, according to Al Shamisi.
Currently, ADPC has yet to design the master plan or estimate a budget for the development of the new Musaffah Port. Al Tamimi said that masterplans for projects of this size could take between a year or two to be designed and approved.
"The design could be completed this year and the real construction can start this year, if there is instruction from senior authorities to move ahead and to do it quickly," he said.