AD Ports Group and France-based CMA CGM Group have signed a 35-year concession agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, a new terminal will be established in Khalifa Port, which will be managed by a joint venture owned by CMA CGM’s subsidiary CMA Terminals (with a 70 percent stake) and AD Ports Group (30 percent stake). The partners are expected to commit approximately AED 570 million (US$154 million) to the project.
With construction starting in 2021, the new terminal is set to be handed over in 2024 with, in phase 1, an initial quay length of 800 meters and an estimated annual capacity of 1.8 million TEUs. AD Ports Group will be responsible for developing a wide range of supporting marine works and infrastructure. This includes up to a total of 1,200 meters of quay wall, a 3,800-meter breakwater, a fully built-out rail platform, and 700,000 sqm of terminal yard.
The terminal will provide CMA CGM with a new regional hub and will enable the Group to develop its service offering between Abu Dhabi and South Asia, Western Asia, East Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean as well as the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent.
With this major investment, the CMA CGM Group pushes ahead with its global expansion strategy as a leading terminal operator. The Group currently operates 49 port terminals in 27 countries via its subsidiaries CMA Terminals and Terminal Link.
H.E. Falah Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Chairman of AD Ports Group, said: “One of the key factors that has greatly contributed to the economic growth of Abu Dhabi and the UAE has been our stable economic environment that is ripe for foreign investment. Coupled with competitive free zone and business engagement initiatives that aid foreign businesses in establishing a presence in the country with ease, the UAE has become a key investment destination among many of the world’s leading players seeking to extend their reach into the Middle East.
“This landmark agreement with the CMA CGM Group is a prime example of those continued efforts and one that will significantly accelerate trade and the development of industry in the UAE and beyond.
“As well as driving increased trade volumes through our port and elevating the UAE’s economic development, we expect the facility’s capacity and added trade links with other high-profile port destinations will drive investment into local businesses and our industrial zones, fast-track the development of key sectors including manufacturing and logistics, and raise demand for manpower.
“This agreement will aid us to realize our long-term ambitions to become a top 10 ports, industrial, and logistics operator by expanding our capacity and growth across the region and beyond. In all, we project that over the next five years the CMA Terminals joint venture will drive the further development of the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), while simultaneously contributing significantly to the national GDP.”
Image credit: H.H. Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, meets with officials from AD Ports Group and CMA CGM Group to witness the signing of a concession agreement between them.