Etihad Rail signs transport deal with Arkan
Abu Dhabi, September 28, 2011
Etihad Rail, the master developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway network, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Arkan Building Materials to assess the use of the rail network to transport its raw materials and finished products.
The agreement supports Etihad Rail’s vision to offer better transportation solutions for raw material flows in the UAE and meet the evolving distribution needs of industrial businesses across the country, said a statement.
The MoU was signed by Richard Bowker, chief executive officer, Etihad Rail, and Saeed Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri – vice president projects, Arkan, an integrated building materials manufacturer.
“With this agreement, Arkan has become one of our first prospects in the construction sector. Given the nature of its business, we are confident Arkan will find our rail network highly beneficial,” said Shadi Malak, executive director – commercial, Etihad Rail. “Our commitment is to deliver a safe and modern mode of transport at optimal cost and with minimal environmental impact,” he added. “We are confident that Etihad Rail’s customers will find our network to be a rapid, cost-efficient means to transport incoming raw materials and finished goods for distribution.”
“As a building materials manufacturer, raw material procurement and product distribution systems are critical to our overall competitiveness,” said Saad Qureshi, vice-president – strategy and business development, Arkan. “Using the rail network to transport our raw materials and distribute our finished goods reduces our transport costs and provides us with immediate availability of freight space.
“Globally, rail lines are the preferred mode of transport for building materials given the heavy nature of raw materials and products. Road transport also limits the volume of goods that can be transported at once. The railway will significantly reduce our lead time and give us added flexibility in terms of volume and costs,” Qureshi added.
Etihad Rail will soon begin construction of the 266km network in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. This initial phase of the railway network is being developed in partnership with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) to transport up to 22,000 tonnes per day of granulated sulphur from their sources in Shah and Habshan to the port of Ruwais for export.
This route marks the first phase of the 1,200km mixed-traffic network that will span the UAE – providing a modern, safe and efficient method of transport for both freight and passengers in addition of being environmentally friendly. The Etihad Rail network will also link the UAE to Saudi Arabia via Ghweifat in the west and Oman via Al Ain in the east. -TradeArabia News Service