Etihad Rail plans to more than triple sulphur freight
Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway, has announced that more than two million tonnes of sulphur have been transported from Shah and Habshan in Abu Dhabi to Ruwais Port in the past 12 months.
The accomplishment was made during testing and commissioning of the line, with trial operations on Stage One of the network to now commence.
Since the completion of the 264km route last year, trials are now running on a daily basis, conducted by Etihad Rail’s operating partner, ERDB, Etihad Rail said in a statement.
Full commercial operations are expected to start shortly once Etihad Rail is granted its regulatory approvals, meaning the volume of Sulphur transported by rail will increase significantly in 2016 and beyond.
The announcement underscores the significant economic and environmental benefits of the federal railway network for the UAE. Etihad Rail’s trains in the last 12 months have replaced more than 66,000 truck trips from the roads in the western region of Abu Dhabi.
“We’re very proud of this achievement for Etihad Rail, our operating partner, ERDB, and the UAE as a whole,” says Faris Saif Al Mazrouei, CEO of Etihad Rail. “It clearly demonstrates Etihad Rail’s unique value proposition as a reliable, safe and environmentally friendly mode of transport.”
“Going forward, we will continue to build on this success as we move towards our target of transporting more than seven million tonnes of sulphur every year once we enter into full commercial operations,” he added.
The Etihad Rail fleet comprises seven locomotives and 240 hopper wagons transporting granulated sulphur from two plants in Shah and Habshan in the Western region of Abu Dhabi to the sulphur handling terminal at Ruwais Port.
The Etihad Rail project is being delivered in three key stages of development. It will be used to transport bulk and non-bulk materials, offering tailor-made solutions to differing customer needs.
Network routes have been designed to accommodate all key customer sectors, with freight facilities positioned to connect production hubs with points of import and export.
Upon completion, the network will span approximately 1,200 kilometres across the UAE allowing Etihad Rail to form a vital part of the GCC Railway Network, linking the UAE to Saudi Arabia through Ghweifat in the west and Oman through Al Ain in the east.