Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE's national railway network, said on Saturday it has signed a deal with Emirates Steel to use rail as its primary method for steel transportation.The agreement was made at a time when the construction of the rail network is about to start.Emirates Steel said the partnership would help the company to take trucks off the road in an effort to improve its environmental rating.Saeed Ghumran Al Romaithi, acting CEO at Emirates Steel, said: "We are one of the heaviest users of road haulage in the Emirates. Therefore, real environmental benefits will be realised by taking trucks off the road, easing road congestion and enhancing road safety."
He added: "Protection of the environment is a key priority of Emirates Steel's operations. Being a leader in the UAE steel industry, we are aware of our important role and responsibility for national processes of sustainable development."Emirates Steel will use the Etihad Rail network to transport its raw materials inbound and finished goods outbound.By 2016, these raw materials and finished goods flows could reach an estimated annual volume of 12 million tonnes. By integrating rail in the transport process, considerable savings will be made, Emirates Steel added.Mubarak Al Khaili, vice president of Commercial Strategy at Emirates Steel, said: "The absence of a rail network means that our raw materials and finished goods are transported via road, causing significant constraints on transport volumes and distances. We believe that the railway will offer us increased flexibility and responsiveness, controlled lead times, and optimised costs."Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Etihad Rail's first customer, will also use rail to transport granulated sulphur from sources in Shah and Habshan to Ruwais for export.
Construction on phase one of the project - a 266km route that will link these three cities in the Emirate's Western Region - is scheduled to be commercially operational in 2013.
When complete, the AED40bn Etihad Rail network will span 1,200km across the Emirates and will also form a vital part of the greater GCC network.Shadi Malak, Etihad Rail executive director - Commercial, said: "Our network will provide Emirates Steel with a modern, safe and sophisticated means of transport that is also environmentally sound and sustainable."
From / Arabian Business News