Abu Dhabi Ports has announced a 30-year concession deal with Switzerland-based MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company to establish a new container terminal at Khalifa Port.
MSC will invest Dhs4bn ($1.08bn) in the terminal over the lifetime of the concession in operational equipment.
Work will include an additional 12 ship-to-shore cranes to a total of 25 over the next two years and the deepening of berths to make the port the first in the region capable of receiving the world’s largest bulk cargo vessels.
“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,” said Abu Dhabi Ports CEO captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi.
“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.”
The terminal will be the latest addition to the port, which Abu Dhabi has spent billions of dollars developing on a man-made island halfway between the emirate and Dubai.
MSC plans to gradually shift some of its container handling in the region to Khalifa Port from July.
This will mean the capacity of the two container terminals at the port increases from 2.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units in 2017 to 5.3 million by 2020 and 8.5 million over the next five years, according to the announcement.
Last month, Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company and infrastructure fund manager Mubadala Infrastructure Partners agreed to sell their 50 per cent stake in Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT) to Abu Dhabi Ports.
ADT manages the other 30-year container terminal concession at Khalifa Port.