Abu Dhabi Ports has signed a 30-year concession agreement with Swiss-based transportation and logistics company Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) to establish a new container terminal at Khalifa Port in the UAE.
As part of the agreement, the Geneva-based shipping company will invest $1.08bn through Terminal Investments.
The new container terminal is one of MSC’s strategic investments and aims to further strengthen the UAE’s position in attracting major international companies at Khalifa Port.
UAE Minister of State and Abu Dhabi Ports chairman Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said: “Under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the UAE has made historic strides in both economic and social development, striving to be a leader in the maritime sector, positioning itself on the global economic and trade map.”
Over the next two years, the current 12 ship-to-shore cranes at the port will be increased to 25. Also, the berths will be deepened, making Khalifa Port the first port in the region capable of receiving the larger vessels.
MSC plans to shift some of its container handling in the region to Khalifa Port from July 2018, which is expected to increase Khalifa Port’s capacity from 2.5m TEUs in 2017 to 5.3m TEUs by 2020.
Khalifa Port was inaugurated by the UAE President on 12 December 2012 and over the past five years it has emerged as a leading port in the region.
Abu Dhabi Ports CEO Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi said: “Khalifa Port plays a vital role in Abu Dhabi Ports’ strategy that aims to further enhance the capital and the UAE’s economic and trade positioning on a regional and global level.
“MSC will invest a total of AED4bn ($1.08bn) over the life of concession agreement in operational equipment.
“Abu Dhabi Ports has successfully attracted two of the world’s largest companies in the field of shipping and container handling to develop a regional hub at Khalifa Port.
“Over the next five years, the capacity of two container terminals at Khalifa Port will increase to more than 8.5 million TEUs annually.”