Chinese manufacturing giant East Hope Group is working with KIZAD on the feasibility of setting up a development worth more than USD 10 billion at Abu Dhabi’s industrial hub.
The agreement was signed by Samir Chaturvedi, CEO of KIZAD, and Meng Changjun, President of Investments, East Hope Group, in the presence of His Excellency Rashed Matar Alsiri Alqemzi, Consul General, United Arab Emirates Consulate General in Shanghai and Yongxing Liu, Chairman of East Hope Group.
Under this agreement, the two entities are looking into a possible 15-year, three-phase plan to develop 7.6 square kilometres of land at KIZAD.
In phase one of the proposed project, East Hope would develop an alumina facility, while the second phase would include a red mud research centre and recycling project.
The final phase of the project would see large-scale upstream and downstream non-ferrous metal processing facilities.
As part of the agreement, KIZAD, Abu Dhabi’s first integrated trade, logistics, industrial and free zone and a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports, would support East Hope Group across all areas as it investigates setting up in Abu Dhabi, including ensuring the best utility prices, acquiring the land, creating a masterplan and handling the import of raw materials through Khalifa Port, and storage.
The agreement also includes exploring options for the sustainable generation of energy and a sustainability program to preserve the environment, including the research centre.
East Hope Group, which is headquartered in Shanghai, is the latest Chinese firm to realise the potential of Abu Dhabi as a Middle Eastern hub and a gateway to the region, Africa and Europe. Earlier this year, Roadbot broke ground at KIZAD on a new tyre manufacturing plant, which is located in the 2.2-square-kilometre China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Zone.
Samir Chaturvedi, CEO of KIZAD, said: “The powerful combination of Abu Dhabi’s strategic location, KIZAD’s logistic efficiencies and the connectivity offered by Khalifa Port, the flagship port of Abu Dhabi Ports and one of the region’s biggest maritime hubs, continues to be a powerful magnet for Chinese investments in Abu Dhabi.
“We are delighted that a company of the size and stature of East Hope Group has recognized the unique value proposition of KIZAD and shown interest in joining our thriving and expanding industrial and trade community in Abu Dhabi.”
Yongxing Liu, Chairman of East Hope Group, said: “I am looking forward to integrating our advanced production capacity in the heavy industry with the UAE’s advantages, setting up the strictest environmental standards to establish this new project, facilitating the UAE’s sustainability ambitions. This project will become the benchmarking project along the Belt and Road Initiative between the UAE and China.”
The East Hope Group produces aluminium and related products, as well as animal feed. The Company was founded in 1982 and already has plants in Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore.
As well as the ground-breaking by Roadbot in February, the longstanding economic relationship between China and UAE was also strengthened last year with the official inauguration of the COSCO Shipping and Ports’ Abu Dhabi Terminal at Khalifa Port; positioning Abu Dhabi as the regional hub for COSCO’s global network of 36 ports.
These initiatives reiterate the strategic role played by the Emirate to the major trade hubs along the Belt and Road Initiative.
Meanwhile, the China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Zone, which was established in conjunction with Jiangsu Overseas Cooperation Investment Co. Ltd. (JOCIC), has already attracted the interest of 19 Chinese firms since it was set up last year.
The Suez incident’s impact was less severe than what some media and experts expected it to be.