Aponte with Dr  Al Jaber witnessed the signings

Aponte with Dr Al Jaber witnessed the signings

MSC inks $1bn UAE port deal

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

June 2018

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

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 2.5m TEUs in 2017 to 5.3m 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 recognised 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.

“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 milestone in Abu Dhabi Ports journey. 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.

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