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New terminal for MSC

Abu Dhabi Ports has announced it has signed a 30-year concession agreement with the  Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) to develop a new terminal at Khalifa in the UAE.

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The new MSC terminal will join Khalifa’s existing facility (operated by Abu Dhabi Ports Company) and another new terminal currently under construction, which is being built for China’s COSCO SHIPPING Ports (CSP). CSP has a 35-year concession on Phase II at Khalifa, which will consist of 1200m of quay and a capacity of 2.4M TEU when completed. CSP has ordered 11 STS cranes and 24 ASC cranes from ZPMC.


MSC’s investment is over US$1 billion spread over the 30-year life of the concession. Abu Dhabi ports said MSC “plans to gradually shift some of its container handling in the region to Khalifa Port, starting July 2018. This is set to increase Khalifa Port’s capacity from 2.5m TEUs in 2017 to 5.3m TEUs by 2020, making it one of the top 25 ports worldwide in handling containers, beginning of next year”. This will affect Jebel Ali, where MSC currently calls with a number of services.

The ADPC terminal at Khalifa
The ADPC terminal at Khalifa

His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports witnessed the concession signing. Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Chief Executive Officer at Abu Dhabi Ports and Diego Aponte, President and CEO of MSC Group, were signatories for both agreements.

His Excellency Dr. 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.

“Since the inauguration of Khalifa Port by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, on 12 December 2012, it has become a real testament to the advanced engineering practices in the UAE, in addition to the success of the government’s strategic plans to build world-class infrastructure projects. Over the past five years, Khalifa Port has been recognized as one of the most modern and technologically advanced ports in the region and the world".

Diego Aponte, President and Chief Executive Officer of MSC, commented: “MSC is delighted to be part of the UAE’s maritime sector growth. The UAE has a rich history in international trade and after two decades of operating in the country, MSC is pleased to continue to support the growth of the local maritime economy. We are confident that with this investment we will continue to ensure a high level of service for our customers and have the capacity to grow the scale of our operations in the UAE.”

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Chief Executive Officer at Abu Dhabi Ports, 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 AED four billion over the life of concession agreement in operational equipment.”

Abu Dhabi Ports emphasised the scale of the development, including “an increase in the current 12 ship-to-shore cranes to make a total of 25 of some of the most technologically advanced cranes in the world, over the next two years. In addition, deepening the berths, making Khalifa Port the first port in the region capable of receiving the largest shipping vessels in the world that specialise in bulk cargo shipment”.

“Abu Dhabi Ports has successfully attracted two of the world 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," Al Shamisi added.

Ammar Kanaan, Chief Executive Officer of TiL, said: “TiL welcomes the opportunity to co-invest with Abu Dhabi Ports in further developing Khalifa Port, in order to provide MSC and its shipping alliance partners with efficient terminal capacity in this strategic location. We look forward to collaborating on the project in the coming years.”

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