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30-YEAR CONCESSION PACT

Aponte with Dr Al Jaber at the signing ceremony.

Swiss group MSC inks $1bn UAE port development deal

ABU DHABI, May 9, 2018

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, a Swiss-based leader in global transportation and logistics, is set to invest close to Dh4 billion ($1.08 billion) on the development of a new container terminal at Khalifa Port.

The funding, which will be done through the Geneva-based group's Terminal Investments Limited (TiL), comes as part of a 30-year concession agreement it has signed with Abu Dhabi Ports.

The new container terminal represents one of MSC's strategic investments as one of the world’s leading container shipping lines.

MSC operates 480 offices across 150 countries worldwide, while its shipping line sails on more than
200 trade routes, calling at 500 ports.

The Swiss group said it plans to gradually shift some of its container handling in the region to Khalifa Port, starting this July.

This is set to increase Khalifa Port’s capacity from 2.5 million TEUs in 2017 to 5.3 million TEUs by 2020, making it one of the top 25 ports worldwide in handling containers, beginning of next year, it added.

Under this deal, the new terminal will benefit from Khalifa Port’s unique advantages as one of the region's most technologically-advanced ports and one of the world's fastest growing ports, further showcasing Abu Dhabi’s importance in the maritime sector and in container handling regionally and globally, said a statement from Abu Dhabi Ports.

The agreement was signed by Abu Dhabi Ports CEO Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi and MSC Group President and CEO Diego Aponte in the presence of Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports, and a number of high ranking officials, it added.
 
On the new deal, Dr Al Jaber said: "Since the inauguration of Khalifa Port by HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, in 2012, it has become a real testament to the advanced engineering practices in the UAE, in addition to the success of the government’s strategic plans to build world-class infrastructure projects."

"Over the past five years, Khalifa Port has been recognized as one of the most modern and technologically advanced ports in the region and the world," stated the minister.

"Such achievements during a record period confirm the success of UAE plans and strategies and the contribution of public and private sectors in building an economy based on solid foundations that in return offers promising opportunities," he added.

Dr Al Jaber said these agreements cement the UAE and Abu Dhabi’s position as a global trading, shipping and logistics hub.

"It will also promote economic growth and increased investment through the rise in container traffic. The UAE has been successful in implementing large infrastructure projects, and this has been due, to a large extent, to the presence of the world’s most technologically advanced ports, modern and integrated transportation networks, as well as its strategic location as a central hub between Asia, Europe and Africa – attracting emerging and developed markets with excellent prospects for growth," he added.

Aponte said the Swiss group was delighted to be part of the UAE’s maritime sector growth.

"The UAE has a rich history in international trade and after two decades of operating in the country, MSC is pleased to continue to support the growth of the local maritime economy. We are confident that with this investment we will continue to ensure a high level of service for our customers and have the capacity to grow the scale of our operations in the UAE," he added.

Captain Al Shamisi pointed out that Khalifa Port played a vital role in Abu Dhabi Ports’ strategy that is aimed at further enhancing the capital and the UAE’s economic and trade positioning on a regional and global level.

"The agreement with MSC is yet another remarkable milestone in Abu Dhabi Ports journey and the region as a whole. This agreement comes with multiple strategic benefits to customers and companies working shipping and logistics, including faster and more efficient services, easier access to more markets in the region and the world," he stated.

"In addition to, attracting more foreign direct investment to Abu Dhabi and the region, especially in the Khalifa Industrial City and KPFTZ, the largest of its kind in the Middle East," he added.

"Developments include an increase in the current 12 ship-to-shore cranes to make a total of 25 of some of the most technologically advanced cranes in the world, over the next two years. In addition, deepening the berths, making Khalifa Port the first port in the region capable of receiving the largest shipping vessels in the world that specialise in bulk cargo shipment," he added.

Ammar Kanaan, the chief executive of TiL, said: “We welcome the opportunity to co-invest with Abu Dhabi Ports in further developing Khalifa Port, in order to provide MSC and its shipping alliance partners with efficient terminal capacity in this strategic location."

"We look forward to collaborating on the project in the coming years," he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Khalifa Port | MSc | Abu Dhabi. | Swiss shipping |

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