$7.2bn Khalifa Port launches operations

Abu Dhabi based $7.2bn mega-project sees phase 1 of industrial zone also launched on Sept 1

In the world of maritime operations, precision is everything but at Abu Dhabi’s latest mega project, Khalifa Port, it’s a philosophy that begins a long time before any ships arrive.

Adhering to a deadline set almost three years ago, when construction on the US$7.2bn port and industrial zone began, at 0700 hours today, September 1 2012, the 2.5million container capacity port and the first phase of its accompanying industrial zone were officially inaugurated.

“We have an organisation that has been waiting for this moment for a long time,” Abu Dhabi Port Company CEO, Tony Douglas, told Big Project Middle East.

“We have had a process over the last six months in particular where every week has had a number of important mile stones and all have been carefully scheduled to correspond to delivering us bang on time,” Douglas continued.

In addition to the arterial road network of Kizad; the 12km Sheikh Khalifa Highway; E11 interchanges; and a 33kv power infrastructure; today has also marked the delivery of the first of a potential five phases on Khalifa Port. Operations from Abu Dhabi’s former gateway, Mina Zayed, are now in the process of relocating.

Khalifa Port is the only semi-automated container terminal in the region and utilises six of the world’s largest ship to shore cranes.

The opening comes only a week after Mina Zayed, which will undergo immediate redevelopment to become a cruise terminal, marked its 40th anniversary. Tenders on its regeneration are due imminently in order to make the October 2013 project deadline.

Predominantly, Khalifa Port will be used by Kizad tenants for the import, export and transhipment of good manufactured at the facility. Kizad’s client list to date includes Emal – which is already running the world’s largest greenfield one-site aluminum smelter – Talah Board and Binos.

“I think we have been fortunate that we have been able to execute such a big plan. As many will acknowledge, big projects don’t always end at the precise time you say and they seldom finish on time and on budget so we are very pleased,” Douglas added.


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