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MSC develops a regional hub for container handling at Khalifa Port


May 07, 2018

The Abu Dhabi leadership’s ongoing support drives forward Abu Dhabi Ports’s ambitions to achieve continuous success

His Excellency 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.

Since the inauguration of Khalifa Port by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, on 12 December 2012, it has become a real testament to the advanced engineering practices in the UAE, in addition to the success of the government’s strategic plans to build world-class infrastructure projects. Over the past five years, Khalifa Port has been recognized as one of the most modern and technologically advanced ports in the region and the world.” 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.” His Highness added.

A long-term growth strategy and ambitious plans

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.”

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.”

Developments 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. In addition, deepening the berths, making Khalifa Port the first port in the region capable of receiving the largest shipping vessels in the world that specialise in bulk cargo shipment.

“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,” Al Shamisi added

Ammar Kanaan, Chief Executive Officer of TiL, said: “TiL welcomes the opportunity to co-invest with Abu Dhabi Ports in further developing Khalifa Port, in order to provide MSC and its shipping alliance partners with efficient terminal capacity in this strategic location. We look forward to collaborating on the project in the coming years.”

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 2.5m TEUs in 2017 to 5.3m TEUs by 2020, making it one of the top 25 ports worldwide in handling containers, beginning of next year.