Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) has announced the arrival of the first batch of Super Post Panamax ‘Ship to Shore’ (STS) container cranes at Khalifa Port.
This marks a significant milestone for Khalifa Port as it readies for Phase 1 completion at the same time as the opening of Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) in the fourth quarter of this year.
With the Emirate of Abu Dhabi set on a trajectory of economic diversification, the completion of Khalifa Port will play an instrumental role in contributing to a sustainable and growing economy. The development of seaports has been an established part of Abu Dhabi’s history beginning with Mina Zayed, which has been Abu Dhabi’s focal port for more than 30 years.
The significant growth in demand and the necessity for handling more containers and bigger vessels faster paved the way for the evolution of a new state-of-the-art port in Abu Dhabi that will be able to meet the business demands of local, regional and international markets.
On completion in Q4 this year, the flagship Khalifa Port will be the first semi-automated port in the region. It is equipped to handle an initial capacity of 2 million TEU container traffic and 12 million tons of general cargo annually. The port’s strategic location also serves as an enabler for Kizad, offering the industrial zone’s tenants unprecedented access to global markets.
The arrival of the three STS cranes, which, at 44 metres high under the spreader and a lifting capacity of 110 tons, are among the largest of their kind in the world, signify that completion of the port island is well on schedule. The Chinese company Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co. Ltd (ZPMC), which designed and constructed the cranes, is due to deliver a second batch of three cranes in Q2. ADPC celebrated the arrival with an unveiling ceremony in the presence of Chairman, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber; CEO, Tony Douglas; Captain Shamisi, Vice President of Ports and Martijn Van de Linde, CEO of Abu Dhabi Terminals on the port island.
Commenting on the occasion, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chairman of ADPC, said: “I am tremendously proud to be a part of this instrumental project, which will play such a key role in Abu Dhabi’s economic development and promoting new business opportunities.”
He added that today, ports in the United Arab Emirates account for 61 per cent of the trade volume among GCC countries, having seen a 13 per cent annual growth in volume in recent years and growth projections remain positive.
Al Jaber stressed that with this remarkable, fast-paced growth, he continued ports are striving to be more competitive, efficient and productive for their customers. Khalifa Port is an example of that – as witnessed with the official unveiling of these cranes today.
He underlined that with the wise leadership and foresight of the Government of Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Port has undergone a stunning transformation since its inception. “Today is a defining moment in its development into a world renowned port, and an engineering wonder of the world. I look forward to celebrating many more such milestones as we head towards completion later this year.”
Commenting on the arrival of the cranes Captain Mohamed Al Shamisi, Vice President Ports, ADPC, said:
“Khalifa Port is destined to be a world class competitive port and a leader in its field. It will be the region’s first semi-automated port, the first to factor in rail freight, and it will be able to accommodate the largest container ships at sea.”
He added that the phase 1 of the port is now 95 per cent completed, and the arrival of these cranes signals that we are now on the home straight. “Once complete, Khalifa Port will continually review and upgrade its services with the latest in the industry’s technology, and more facilities will be added, such as bunkering, break bulking and the handling of general cargo. This flagship project will continue to develop in line with the business needs of the global shipping industry, making Abu Dhabi the hub and destination port of choice for the future.”
Martijn Van de Linde, CEO of Abu Dhabi Terminals, remarked on the milestone: “Today is a proud day for all of us at Abu Dhabi Terminals. As the operator of Khalifa Port, we will be ready to start operations of the region’s first semi-automated container terminal in 4th quarter 2012, and the official welcome of these fantastic cranes marks an important and very visible mile stone for us.”
He added that the work is on schedule, but there is still a lot to do. “While we celebrate this morning, our team of local and international experts are working hard to prepare everything we need to ensure we make a real difference for everyone: for the businesses that count on us to provide them with access to the world markets, for the shipping lines, for the consumers, and of course for the Abu Dhabi economy.”
As part of its capacity to handle container and cargo traffic, Khalifa Port will also handle 4 million tons of raw material cargo a year delivered to the dedicated and already functioning EMAL berth at the port. In addition the port has been designed to accommodate the largest ships currently at sea and those planned for the future. By 2030 Khalifa Port will be able to handle 15 million TEUs and 35 million tonnes of general cargo a year should this be required.