The United Arab Emirates will start operating new grain silos at Fujairah within the coming months and has picked a private company to manage them, the managing director of Abu Dhabi’s Food Security Center said.
The silos located at the port of Fujairah, which lies outside the Strait of Hormuz, will have the capacity to store up to 275,000 tonnes of grain, enough for a strategic supply of around six months.
“We are now in the final stages of the project and will announce a private partner to operate the silos very soon,” Khalifa al-Ali told Reuters on Monday on the sidelines of a food conference in Abu Dhabi.
The Strait of Hormuz is a vital Gulf oil export and food import route. Iran threatened in 2012 to block the strait if it came under attack as tensions rose with the West last year over Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme.
The UAE, which imports over 90 percent of its food needs, sees Fujairah’s strategic location outside the strait as vital for ensuring the security of its food supplies.
The project will bring its total grain storage capacity to around 850,000 tonnes.
The silos, in addition to holding a strategic reserve, will also be used to store grain for re-export.
“It will serve the whole region’s business, and in times of need of course, it will be used for the region as a whole,” Ali said.