Etihad Rail and Abu Dhabi Ports have signed an agreement to link the 1,200km national rail network to Khalifa Port.
Linking Khalifa Port with Etihad Rail is expected to “raise competitiveness” and boost the local logistics sector. Khalifa Port will see the establishment of a train station that will eventually be the largest in Etihad Rail’s network, boasting an annual capacity of 2.4 million containers. This is expected to support companies operating out of Khalifa Port, which expects its annual capacity to reach 9.1 million containers over the next five years.
“The train station in Khalifa Port was designed to improve infrastructure and raise the capacity of our ports to transfer goods in a more economical and reliable way, through the ability of one train to transfer the load of 300 trucks,” said HH Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Etihad Rail.
Etihad Rail and Abu Dhabi Ports’ signing ceremony was attended by Dr Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports Company. Shadi Malak, chief executive officer of Etihad Rail, and Capt Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, signed the deal, UAE state news agency, Wam, reported.
Commenting on the agreement, Al Jaber said: “The agreement is important for Abu Dhabi Ports and is in line with the company’s strategy and plans for promoting economic development, through establishing a sustainable and diverse economy based on innovation.”
Etihad Rail has made significant progress over the last 12 months. Work is under way on Stage 2 of Etihad Rail, which will span 605km from Al Ghuweifat to the UAE’s border with Saudi Arabia in the west, and to Fujairah on the Eastern Coast through Khalifa, Khor Fakkan.
Phase 2 project funding was agreed with the UAE’s Ministry of Finance and Abu Dhabi Department of Finance in November 2018. American engineering company Jacobs and French firm Egis are both working on Stage 2.
News of the Etihad Rail-Abu Dhabi Ports agreement comes after the rail developer and operator signed a memorandum of understanding with Zones Corp to develop a 600ha Industrial City of Abu Dhabi logistics hub for goods heading to Saudi Arabia.
The 264km Stage 1 of Etihad Rail is already in operation between Shah and Habshan, transporting sulphur to Ruwais, Abu Dhabi.