COSCO sends giant mega container ships to test out new Port Khalifa terminal

Khalifa Port accommodated two 20,000-plus TEU China COSCO SHIPPING mega-vessels at CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal
Cosco shipping, Khalifa Port, Abu Dhabi Ports, Shipping


CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal, a container terminal built and operated by China's COSCO SHIPPING Ports Limited (CSP) at Khalifa Port in partnership with Abu Dhabi Ports, has received two of the world’s largest mega-vessels.

The ships Solar and Pisces are the third and fourth main line vessels to pass through CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal since it started trial operations in April. They are the largest container ships ever to dock in Port Khalifa and follow the arrival of CSCL Mercury, a Chinese container ship with a capacity of 14,000 TEU, on 20 April 2019, and CSCL Globe, which arrived on 27 April 2019 with a capacity of 19,000 TEU.

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The arrival of the ships, which started their journeys from Qingdao in China, highlights Abu Dhabi’s position as a major trade hub along China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “The arrival of both the Solar and Pisces is a milestone moment for Abu Dhabi Ports and its partner, CSP. Not only does it demonstrate our growth as a hub port in the region, but also our position as the heart of COSCO’s network in the Middle East.”

“The container industry is constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency, and the use of mega-vessels to cut costs and time is a trend shaping the future of the sector,” he added. “We have ensured that through CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal, Khalifa Port is able to handle the largest vessels of today and adapt to those of tomorrow.”

Abu Dhabi Ports is the operator and manager of the emirate's commercial and community ports, as well as Khalifa Industrial Zone (KIZAD).

The CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal, which was inaugurated in December, connects Khalifa Port to CSP’s global terminal portfolio covering 285 berths at 37 ports worldwide.

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The deep-water, semi-automated container terminal includes the largest Container Freight Station (CFS) in the Middle East, covering 275,000 square metres.

The state-of-the-art facility offers 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.

The terminal is also the first international greenfield subsidiary of COSCO SHIPPING Ports, whose parent company, China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited, is the largest integrated shipping enterprise in the world.

The CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal has a design capacity of 2.5 million TEU, with 1200 metres of quay. The water depth of the terminal is 18 metres, allowing it to accommodate mega-vessels typically carrying in excess of 20,000 TEU.

CSP has invested AED1.1 billion in capital expenditure on construction and machinery at the terminal.

CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal is the result of a 35-year agreement between Abu Dhabi Ports and COSCO SHIPPING Ports, and forms part of a five-year strategy by Abu Dhabi Ports aimed at strengthening the maritime sector in the Emirate and driving economic diversification.

The strategy, in line with Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, aims to increase regional trade and attract foreign direct investment.

Abu Dhabi Ports has earmarked AED10 billion in investment that will increase capacity at Khalifa Port from the current 5 million TEU to 9.1 million TEU, which also includes boosting capacity at Terminal 1 to more than 5 million TEU.

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