WASHINGOTN: Abu Dhabi Ports, the master developer, operator and manager of ports and Khalifa Industrial Zone in the Emirate, set a new annual cargo-volume record in 2015, surpassing the previous record set in 2014. The company witnessed significant surge in volumes during the year in all major sectors, namely container cargo, general and bulk cargo, Roll-on-roll-off (RORO), and cruise tourism; and saw increased investments in Khalifa Industrial Zone.
Khalifa Port Container Terminal, which is operated by Abu Dhabi Terminals – a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports – handled 32 per cent more containers. The terminal moved 1,504,293 TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units/containers), up from 1,137,679 TEUs in 2014.
Roll-on-roll-off (RORO) traffic had 27 per cent upturn with 134,272 vehicles, up from 106,071 vehicles previous year. All roll-on-roll-off (RORO) operations were transferred to Khalifa Port from Zayed Port in 2015 to meet the rising demand. Better yard and terminal facilities, and services at Khalifa Port have contributed to the upsurge in volumes.
General and bulk cargo saw 20 per cent upswing to 15,310,847 million freight tonnes (FT) from 12,804,248 million FT in 2014. The surge in general and bulk cargo volumes across Abu Dhabi Ports indicates rising import and export activities related to industrial and infrastructure development projects in the Emirate.
Abu Dhabi’s rapidly expanding cruise industry witnessed 16 per cent growth with 170,360 cruise passengers visiting the Emirate in 2015, up from 146,997 cruisers previous year. The newly opened state-of-the-art Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal at Zayed Port, a premier cruise hub in the region, is expected to further catalyse this growth.
At Khalifa Industrial Zone (Kizad), Abu Dhabi Ports saw a total of 21 Standard Musataha Agreements (SMAs) signed this year with national and international investors, and three plot-extension SMAs with existing investors.
These projects represent over 1,384,017 million square metres of land leased in 2015. Memoranda of understanding (MOUs) were signed with Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development (DED), and SACE Group–Italian Export Credit Agency, to further attract investments into the integrated trade and industrial hub of Abu Dhabi. These MOUs explore ways to enhance the services and support offered to customers through collaborated efforts.
Commenting on the positive results, Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, said that Abu Dhabi Ports’ success is due to the ongoing investments in equipment, technology and workforce capabilities.
“Abu Dhabi Ports’ business focus is to deliver value to customers by supporting their thriving businesses through its integrated services and offerings. We are proud to be in a position to support the economic growth being witnessed in the Emirate and intend to continuously invest in enabling the nation’s maritime trade and industrial development,” he said.
Praising the projects and operations team at Abu Dhabi Ports, comprised of a large number of strong Emirati talent, Khalifa Port Container Terminal management, and the team at Kizad, Captain Al Shamisi continued, “With the support of our wise leadership, and dedicated efforts of our employees, stakeholders and partners; we are able to meet the changing requirements of our customers.”
Abu Dhabi Ports’ heavy investments in the world-class infrastructure, the latest technologies and equipment have considerably attracted more customers to the ports in the Emirate. The company officially inaugurated Al Mirfa Port in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi recently, after completing extensive redevelopment work.
Three other ports in the region – Mugharrag Port, Delma Port and Sir Bani Yas – are also being redeveloped as part of the master development plan. The infrastructural upgrade of these ports is expected to complete by 2017, which will play a key role in the development of the Western Region and support the Emirate’s economic diversification efforts.