Etihad Rail in deal to connect Khalifa Port to network
His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council, Chairman of Etihad Rail, attended the signing of an agreement between Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway, with Abu Dhabi Ports, the operator of commercial and community ports within the emirate of Abu Dhabi, as well as Fujairah Terminals and Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD). The agreement aims to connect Khalifa Port with the national railway network.
The agreement was signed at Khalifa Port following a visit by His Highness to Khalifa Port where was briefed on the work progress at the Khalifa Port Maritime Traffic Control Center. This facility provides a number of services to ensure the safety of maritime navigation in the ports of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, including VTS and securing and facilitating their access and departure to and from territorial waters.
His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed affirmed: “The signing of the agreemnt will have a positive impact on many sectors of the national economy and society. Today, with more than half of the cargo going to and from the GCC entering and exiting through UAE ports, the link will significantly enhance the capacity of the port and strengthen the UAE’s position as a leading global logistics and commercial hub.” H.H pointed out that the rail terminal capacity at Khalifa Port is expected to be the largest of its kind within the UAE, accommodating 2.4 million containers yearly.
H.H. added, “The Etihad Rail facility at Khalifa Port will enhance the efficiency of its infrastructure as well as the ability to increase its capacity in a more economical and reliable way. One train will have the ability to carry the load of 300 trucks. That is why it will be capable of providing competitive services and will create opportunities for businesses to gain an edge in key markets.”
The agreement was signed by Engineer Shadi Malak, CEO of Etihad Rail, and Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports at the presence of His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports.
His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber praised the Leadership’s vision, guidance and unlimited support for the development of the UAE infrastructure. He stressed that Abu Dhabi Ports continues to promote the UAE’s position in the global economy and trade map by developing world-class infrastructure projects as per the best international standards and providing integrated services that meet the needs of various economic, industrial and commercial sectors. “This helps to position the UAE as an attractive destination for foreign investments and a key hub to stimulate economic growth locally and regionally.”
His Excellency added: “This agreement represents a significant milestone to Abu Dhabi Ports and is in line with the company’s strategy and plans to actively contribute to the economic development process by establishing a sustainable and diversified economy based on innovation. With strategic role to provide a fast and sustainable transport network as per highest standards of efficiency and safety, Etihad Rail National Railway is a quantum leap to streamline economic benefits for all commercial, industrial and logistics sectors.”
The agreement comes in line with the mutual efforts of Etihad Rail and Abu Dhabi Ports to support the growth and diversification of the UAE economy by strengthening the transport infrastructure and connecting vital facilities such as ports to the rail network to facilitate the transport of containers and various types of goods in a safe, efficient environment-friendly way. This agreement provides Abu Dhabi Ports’ customers, such as shipping companies, cargo transport and logistics services, with various benefits to save time and costs.
In line with the vision of the UAE’s wise leadership in supporting the economic and social development of the UAE, and in line with the UAE 2021 Vision, and the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, the agreement reaffirms that the project is moving steadily towards further developments and significant achievements, in line with Etihad Rail’s future vision to fully connect cities and industries through a safe and a sustainable railway network, in addition to developing economic transport solutions to link the UAE.
This agreement is aligned with Abu Dhabi Ports’ strategy to develop the emirate’s maritime trade and promote economic diversification. This will be achieved through increasing local, regional and international commercial traffic and attracting more foreign direct investment to Abu Dhabi and the UAE. Khalifa Port’s total handling capacity will increase to 9.1 million TEU per annum over the next five years.
Stage two of the Etihad Rail network will extend 605 kilometers from Ghuweifat on the UAE’s border with Saudi Arabia to Fujairah on the east coast, through Khalifa Port, Jebel Ali and Khor Fakkan, to be followed by further route additions.
Stage One of the project, which extends 264 km, was delivered and fully operational in 2016, linking the Shah and Habshan gas fields in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi to the port of Ruwais on the Arabian Gulf, with the capacity of transferring 22,000 tons of sulfur granules daily.