Construction starts on AED 2.2-billion tire plant in Abu Dhabi
Senior industry figures from China and the UAE celebrated the ground-breaking of the Roadbot Tire Project KIZAD (Roadbot), marking the development of the first tire manufacturing plant in the UAE.
The project is also an indication of the growth of downstream industry in KIZAD, Abu Dhabi’s industrial hub and part of Abu Dhabi Ports.
Developed by Chinese tire manufacturer Roadbot with a total investment of AED 2.2 billion (USD 614.37 million), the Roadbot factory is being built in KIZAD’s China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Zone. It will be fully operational by October 2020.
The 2.2 square kilometre Demonstration Zone is being developed by Jiangsu Provincial Overseas Cooperation and Investment Company (JOCIC). Roadbot is the first Chinese firm to set up there since JOCIC and Abu Dhabi Ports signed a 50-year agreement in 2017.
The Roadboat project was launched last year during the visit of Chinese Premier Xi Jinping to the UAE.
The 275,000 square metre factory will have an initial annual production capacity of 3 million Passenger Car Radial (PCR) tires and 1 million Truck and Bus Radial (TBR) tires; with production increasing to 10 million PCR tires and 1 million Truck and Bus Radials by 2022.
The facility strengthens Abu Dhabi’s unique position in the regional original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and replacement tire markets.
“The Roadbot tire factory will make an important contribution to the UAE’s manufacturing base as part of our leadership’s longstanding strategy to diversify our economy,” said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE Minister of State and chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports. “Today’s ground-breaking also demonstrates the increasingly close ties between the UAE and China, and reinforces the UAE’s role as a key partner in China’s Belt and Road initiative.”
Roadbot chairwoman Zhang Yingzi said: “The Roadbot Abu Dhabi tire project is the result of close cooperation between the UAE and Chinese governments. It is an important part of the Belt and Road Initiative and a crystallisation of multiculturalism, based on the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration. We are deeply honoured to be playing a part in the economic transformation in Abu Dhabi.”
“Roadbot will connect Abu Dhabi to global and regional automotive manufacturing demand; joining over 19 Chinese companies that have signed agreements to invest over USD1 billion in the demonstration zone established within the KIZAD,” said Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports. “These companies have identified the value proposition that helped put Abu Dhabi Ports and KIZAD on the global trade map, especially in the context of the China’s Belt and Road Initiative.”
The factory will be a fully automated, and eco-friendly plant when completed, with alpine waterfalls and ecological gardens in the atrium, creating an inviting and encouraging environment for employees.
The facility will also harness the latest technology to enhance productivity, such as the internet of things, logistics automation, smart equipment, equipment networking and system real-time data collection, and intelligent analysis.
Roadbot Tire Project KIZAD is set to play a major role in the UAE’s economic diversification and sustainability plans, creating up to 1,200 new jobs and supporting the development of an innovative and sustainable ecosystem for the automotive industry in the UAE.
The longstanding economic relationship between China and UAE was recently strengthened with the official inauguration of the CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal at Khalifa Port.
This positioned Abu Dhabi as the regional hub for COSCO’s global network of 36 ports and further connecting the Emirate to the major trade hubs along the Belt and Road Initiative.
Currently, several automotive projects are based at KIZAD, with the industrial zone acting as a regional mega hub for Completely Built Up (CBU) logistics for Al Futtaim and Ghassan Aboud Cars.
Through Autoterminal Barcelona’s RoRo/Car Terminal at Khalifa Port, KIZAD and Khalifa Port are positioned to become a regional hub for commercial car trade routes in the Gulf, East Africa and the Red Sea.
Currently global automotive brands such as Toyota, Jeep, Dodge, Fiat, Honda operate volumes out of KIZAD’s automotive cluster.