MSC to shift container traffic from Jebel Ali to Khalifa Port
Abu Dhabi Ports has granted MSC Shipping a 30 year concession agreement for the development of a new container terminal in the UAE located at Khalifa Port.
The shipping line will invest up to AED4-billion in the construction of the terminal, according to Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO at Abu Dhabi Ports.
Developments include 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.
“This agreement will promote economic growth and increased investment through the rise in container traffic,” said Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports.
“The UAE has been successful in implementing large infrastructure projects, and this has been due, to a large extent, to the presence of the world’s most technologically advanced ports, modern and integrated transportation networks, as well as its strategic location as a central hub between Asia, Europe and Africa – attracting emerging and developed markets with excellent prospects for growth,” he added.
The concession with MSC Shipping comes just months after Cosco announced that it would develop its own container terminal at Port Khalifa, and shift much of its container traffic from Dubai’s Jebel Ali to Abu Dhabi.
“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," said Al Shamisi.
Like Cosco, MSC also 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.