COSCO SHIPPING Ports Limited (“COSCO SHIPPING Ports” or “CSP”), a leading port operator in the world, on Dec. 10 held the inauguration ceremony for the CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal ( the “Terminal”) with Abu Dhabi Ports during a high-level event at the Khalifa Port, Abu Dhabi.
CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal is the first international green-field subsidiary of COSCO SHIPPING Ports; water depth of the semi-automatic terminal is 16.5 metres which allow it to accommodate megavessels typically in excess of 20,000 TEU. With an annual design capacity of 2.5 million TEU, the terminal will begin trial operations in April 2019 with 1.5 million TEU handling capacity, and will gradually ramping up the volume until the official operations scheduled to commence in the third quarter of 2019.
Total capex made by CSP in the terminal was US$300 million, which includes the largest Container Freight Station (CFS) in the Middle East covering 275,000 square meters. This state-of-the-art facility is the first of its kind in the region to be semi-automated with facilities for full and partial bonded container shipments, the full range of container packing services, short-term warehousing for de-consolidated cargo as well as easy connectivity with container terminals in Khalifa Port.
China is the UAE’s largest non-oil trade partner. In 2017, bilateral trade between the two countries increased by 15 per cent to more than US $53 billion, representing 14.7 per cent of the UAE’s total foreign trade. During the same period the UAE accounted for nearly 30 per cent of total Chinese exports to Arab countries and about 22 per cent of total Arab-China trade. Bilateral trade is expected to increase to US$70 billion a year by 2020.
The new terminal will also ease the way for companies seeking to establish, expand or enhance their trade by using local manufacturing, warehousing or logistics operations within Abu Dhabi and, through them, service regional, Middle Eastern, African and international markets. In addition to attracting investors from Eastern Asia, it will increase Khalifa Port’s competitiveness and act as a catalyst for investment by foreign companies to set up in the free zone of Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), the region’s largest industrial, manufacturing and logistics hub and free zone. KIZAD, which comprises 410 square kilometres, has to date attracted more than 200 tenants and AED 65 billion (US$17.7 billion) in investment. So far, a total of 19 Chinese companies have signed lease agreements for land in the demonstration zone established within the Khalifa Port Free Trade Zone in August 2017 by the Chinese Jiangsu Provincial Overseas Cooperation and Investment Company (JOCIC).
CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal is part of Abu Dhabi Ports’ five-year growth strategy to increase Khalifa Port, with its two container terminals, to a combined total capacity of 9.1 million TEUs. The addition of CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal has already moved Khalifa Port up from being the 89th largest container port in world rankings to within the top 25.