AD Ports Group and France-based CMA CGM Group have announced the signing of a 35-year concession agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, a new terminal will be established in Khalifa Port, the first semi-automated container port in the GCC region, which will be managed by a joint venture owned by CMA CGM’s subsidiary CMA Terminals (with a 70 percent stake) and AD Ports Group (30 percent stake). The partners are expected to commit approximately AED 570 million (USD 154 million) to the project.
With construction starting in 2021, the new terminal is set to be handed over in 2024 with, in phase 1, an initial quay length of 800 metres and an estimated annual capacity of 1.8 million TEUs. AD Ports Group will be responsible for developing a wide range of supporting marine works and infrastructure. This includes up to a total of 1,200 metres of quay wall, a 3,800-metre breakwater, a fully built-out rail platform, and 700,000sqm of terminal yard.
The terminal will provide CMA CGM with a new regional hub and will enable the Group to develop its service offering between Abu Dhabi and South Asia, Western Asia, East Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean as well as the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent.
H.E. Falah Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Chairman of AD Ports Group, said: “One of the key factors that has greatly contributed to the economic growth of Abu Dhabi and the UAE has been our stable economic environment that is ripe for foreign investment. Coupled with competitive free zone and business engagement initiatives that aid foreign businesses in establishing a presence in the country with ease, the UAE has become a key investment destination among many of the world’s leading players seeking to extend their reach into the Middle East.
“This landmark agreement with the CMA CGM Group is a prime example of those continued efforts and one that will significantly accelerate trade and the development of industry in the UAE and beyond.”
“As well as driving increased trade volumes through our port and elevating the UAE’s economic development, we expect the facility’s capacity and added trade links with other high-profile port destinations will drive investment into local businesses and our industrial zones, fast-track the development of key sectors including manufacturing and logistics, and raise demand for manpower.”
“This agreement will aid us to realise our long-term ambitions to become a top 10 ports, industrial, and logistics operator by expanding our capacity and growth across the region and beyond. In all, we project that over the next five years the CMA Terminals joint venture will drive the further development of the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), while simultaneously contributing significantly to the national GDP.”
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Group CEO, AD Ports Group, said: “The addition of a new container terminal at Khalifa Port, which will be managed by a joint venture formed in collaboration with CMA Terminals, opens a new chapter in our organisation’s efforts to become a key facilitator of global trade, and elevates Abu Dhabi’s standing as both a regional and an international hub for maritime trade.
“With the addition of another leading worldwide shipping group company, will make Khalifa Port a hub for three of the world’s top four shipping companies. This addition creates opportunities to open trade routes to new markets in Europe, Africa, Western Asia, and South Asia. At home, we expect the presence of the shipping line terminal, which will link directly to Khalifa Port’s upcoming rail terminal and utilise its services, to accelerate trade flows moving in and out of the UAE, while also encouraging CMA CGM Group’s customers to consider establishing a presence in Abu Dhabi.”