UAE’s Etihad Rail achieves cargo landmark

Railway operator transports 10 million tonnes of sulphur from source to port since starting operations

In the 14 months since it received approval for commercial operations in December 2015, Etihad Rail has transported 10 million tonnes of granulated sulphur for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) from the Shah and Habshan areas of the emirate to its point of export at Ruwais.

A statement from the developer and operator of the UAE’s multi-billion dollar fully integrated national railway network said that since the commencement of stage one of operations after the go-ahead from the Federal Transport Authority’s (FTA) – Land and Maritime, two trains move along the network daily under the current timetable, each carrying up to 11,000t of granulated sulphur. To date, the monthly average tonnage of sulphur transported stands at 410,000t, with the seven million tonne mark having been surpassed at the end of August 2016.

“The Etihad Rail project is emblematic of our zest for sustainable development, fostering innovation, and unsurpassed commitment towards revolutionising the UAE’s socio-economic landscape,” said Faris Saif Al Mazrouei, CEO of Etihad Rail.

“Stage one’s continued progress underpins our vision to create significant benefits to the UAE through a faster, safer and more reliable alternative transport system. Transporting high volumes of sulphur per year is only the beginning of our efforts to expand the UAE’s logistics capabilities when transferring goods and raw materials from their source points to their final destinations,” he added.

The 1,200km long Etihad Rail network is part of the UAE government’s plans to invest in excellent transport infrastructure, with the aim being to further strengthen the UAE’s position as a leading logistics hub, facilitating connectivity between trading partners in the region and beyond, through integration with key ports of the Gulf and Arabian seas, the statement said.

Stretching a distance of 264km, stage one links the sulphur sources of Shah and Habshan to the export point of Ruwais via the Mirfa depot and utilises seven locomotives from US-based Electro-Motive Diesel, with wagons supplied by China’s CSR Corporation. At full capacity, stage one of Etihad Rail transports more than seven million tonnes of granulated sulphur annually.

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