COSCO Abu Dhabi a gateway for ‘Belt and Road’ trade, investment
Since the launch of its trial operations in April this year, the CSP Abu Dhabi Port Container Terminal, COSCO, has already gained great strides in its bid to drive investment growth and economic diversification aligned with Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.
The trade and investment journey began on September 2016, when China’s COSCO Shipping Ports Ltd entered into a 35-year concession agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports.
Construction works started on CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal in November 2017 at Khalifa Port, with a design capacity of 2.6 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) and an initial handling capacity of 1.5 million TEU.
The semi-automated container terminal includes the largest Container Freight Station in the Middle East, spanning 275,000 square metres, and a depth of 18.5 metres to accommodate mega-vessels, connecting the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to the global maritime trade map.
The state-of-the-art facility at Khalifa Port recently received the world’s two largest mega-vessels. The COSCO Shipping Solar is the largest ship ever to call at Khalifa Port, with a capacity of 21,000 TEU.
At present, the terminal has 1,200 metres of quay, however, expansion plans will soon see the facility expand to 1,800 metres of quay, increasing the capacity to 3.6 million TEU, Naser AlBusaeedi, Deputy CEO CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal, tells the Emirates News Agency, WAM.
He explains that the terminal is equipped with 11 automated rail-mounted gantry cranes, in addition to 32 automatic stacking cranes and straddle carriers. So far, over 30 ships have arrived at the CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal since its initial launch in April, AlBusaeedi adds.
The UAE-China partnership at COSCO Abu Dhabi Terminal is part of a broader strategy to develop the emirate as a regional logistics and trade hub.
Abu Dhabi Ports plans to expand the current capacity at Khalifa Port from five million TEU to 9.1 million TEU over the next five years.
The agreement also opens a new chapter between the UAE and China, bearing newfound horizons for the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ cooperation between the two countries.