Abu Dhabi Ports Group and CMA CGM has signed a 35-year concession agreement to manage a new terminal at Khalifa Port, which will open in 2024 with an initial capacity of 1.8mn TEU.

The first semi-automated container facility in the GCC region, will be managed by a joint venture owned by CMA CGM’s subsidiary CMA Terminals (with a 70% stake) and AD Ports Group (30% stake), with the partners expect to commit AED570mn (US$154mn) to the project.

With construction starting in 2021, in phase one the new terminal will have an initial quay length of 800 m.

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 mt of quay wall, a 3,800-mt breakwater, a fully built-out rail platform, and 700,000 sq mt of terminal yard.

Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group said, “The ambitious project we are launching in Abu Dhabi marks an important milestone in CMA CGM’s development strategy in the region.”

“This state-of-the-art terminal will contribute to enhancing Khalifa Port’s position as a leading global hub and to boosting the region’s economy, accelerating trade flows in and out of Abu Dhabi. It will also enable our Group to expand its shipping and logistics network in the region, where we see a lot of growth potential.”

The terminal will provide CMA CGM with a new regional hub and will enable the carrier 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.

The agreement confirms Khalifa Port’s standing as one of only a few major ports in the world providing hubs for three of the world’s top shipping lines, with MSC and COSCO Shipping Ports already running facilities at the port.

Falah Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Chairman of AD Ports Group said, “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 realise our long-term ambitions to become a top 10 ports, industrial, and logistics operators 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.”

Capt Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Group CEO, AD Ports Group said, “With the addition of another leading worldwide shipping group company, will make Khalifa Port a hub for three of the world’s top four shipping companies.”

“This addition creates opportunities to open trade routes to new markets in Europe, Africa, Western Asia, and South Asia. At home, we expect the presence of the shipping line terminal, which will link directly to Khalifa Port’s upcoming rail terminal and utilise its services, to accelerate trade flows moving in and out of the UAE, while also encouraging CMA CGM Group’s customers to consider establishing a presence in Abu Dhabi.”


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