In a landmark development, France’s CMA CGM Group is to invest in a new terminal at Khalifa Port under a 35-year concession agreement signed with the Abu Dhabi Ports group. The technically advanced facility is expected to open in 2024 with an initial capacity of 1.8 million TEU a year.
The terminal will be managed by a joint venture partly owned by CMA CGM’s subsidiary CMA Terminals, which will have a 70% stake, and AD Ports Group, which will control the remaining 30% holding. The combined initial investment by the two partners is said to be around AED 570 million, with construction starting in 2021.
AD Ports Group will be responsible for developing marine works and infrastructure as part of the project. This includes up to a total of 1200 m of quay wall, a 3800m breakwater, a fully built-out rail platform and 700,000 m2 of terminal yard.
The terminal will provide CMA CGM with a new regional hub and will enable the carrier to develop its service offering between Abu Dhabi and South Asia, Western Asia, East Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean as well as the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent.
The agreement confirms Khalifa Port’s standing as one of only a few major ports in the world providing hubs for three of the world’s top shipping lines – MSC, Cosco and now CMA CGM. Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Group CEO, AD Ports Group, said: “The addition of a new container terminal at Khalifa Port opens a new chapter in our organisation’s efforts to become a key facilitator of global trade, and elevates Abu Dhabi’s standing as both a regional and an international hub for maritime trade. At home, we expect the presence of the shipping line terminal, which will link directly to Khalifa Port’s upcoming rail terminal and utilise its services, to accelerate trade flows moving in and out of the UAE, while also encouraging CMA CGM Group’s customers to consider establishing a presence in Abu Dhabi.”