The agreements have seen an increase in the number of ships leveraging Khalifa Port’s location, along with significant additional investment in new technology and infrastructure.
Specifically, container volume at Khalifa Port grew from 620,974 TEU in H1 2018, to 1,135,021 TEU in H1 2019, marking an increase of 82.4%. This growth was mainly driven through the MSC concession agreement, signed last year.
Abu Dhabi Ports now expects more growth because of the completion of the CSP Abu Dhabi Container Terminal, which was built in cooperation with COSCO SHIPPING Ports, and started trial operations in Q2 2019.
Both agreements form part of Abu Dhabi Ports’ five-year strategy to advance UAE’s trade and investment flows. As a result, Abu Dhabi Ports will expanding the capacity of Khalifa Port to 9.1 million by 2024.
The port can accommodate the world’s largest vessels with two 21,000 TEU mega-vessels, the COSCO SHIPPING SOLAR and PISCES, having already called at CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal earlier this year.
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, stated on the occasion:
Our half-year figures illustrate the outstanding growth we are witnessing in our business, from containers to cruise ships. With the commencement of commercial operations at CSP Abu Dhabi Container Terminal and the rejuvenation of Port of Fujairah on track through our joint venture with Fujairah Terminals, we expect our strong growth to continue
What is more, Abu Dhabi Ports also saw a significant increase in the overall volume of cargo handled across its ports, which also include Fujairah Terminals, Zayed Port and Mussafah Port. Total cargo increased to just under 9.7 million tonnes in the first half of 2019, an increase of 10%, in comparison to the same period in 2018.
In addition, during June, the first fully-laden Capesize vessel to ever call at a GCC port, arrived at Khalifa Port after Abu Dhabi Ports modified the approach channels to welcome capesize vessels. The channels have been deepened from 16.5 metres to 18.5 metres draft and widened from 250 metres to 280 metres.
Moreover, work has began on the AED 2.2 billion Roadbot Tyre Project. When completed, the 275,000 square metre facility will have a production capacity of 10 million Passenger Car Radial (PCR) tyres and 1 million truck and bus radials by 2022.
However, Abu Dhabi Ports saw a slight drop in Roll-on Roll-off (RORO) figures, from 78,163 units in H1 2018 to 73,590 unit this year, attributing it to a fall in new car sales.
On the other hand, it saw a significant increase in cruise passengers in the first half of the year, with the total number rising from 237,169 in H1 2018, to 321,277 for the same period this year, which is an increase of 35%.
This was reflected in the number of cruise ships calling at either Zayed Port, Fujairah Terminals or Sir Bani Yas Cruise Terminal, with total calls increasing from 93 to 129. Additionally, Fujairah’s cruise passenger numbers almost tripled from 5,931 to 14,441.