Three months after the official inauguration, a third of the land currently available at the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, known as Kizad, has been leased.
Thirty-four per cent of the industrial zone's first phase, comprising 51 square kilometres, has been taken up, according to Khaled Salmeen Al Kuwairi, Kizad's chief executive.
This is up from 27 per cent at the end of last year.
Forty contracts have been signed, committing companies to developing manufacturing and storage facilities in the zone, Mr Al Kuwairi told Al Ittihad. The Kizad chief executive expects this figure to rise to 40 per cent by the end of the year. Kizad and its adjacent port was inaugurated by Sheikh Khalifa, President of the UAE, in December after the zone's infrastructure had been completed.
Since then, marketing efforts that commenced as soon as construction for the zone began almost three years ago were intensified.
The zone already boasted a fully operational aluminium smelter, operated by government-owned Emirates Aluminium (Emal). Kizad is divided into integrated clusters focusing on producers of basic materials, and Emal is the anchor tenant for a cluster seeking to attract midstream and downstream industry feeding off the aluminium smelter.
The company, a joint venture between Abu Dhabi's Mubadala and government-owned Dubai Aluminium, is currently expanding its production capacity from 800,000 tonnes a year (t/y) to 1.3 million t/y. The second phase is set for commissioning in December, and additional phases are envisioned.
So far, Emal has signed three memorandums of understanding to supply aluminium to downstream players in the cluster, and two further agreements are imminent, the company's chief executive Saeed Fadhel Al Mazrooei said this month.
Kizad will have a further anchor tenant once Emirates Steel is given the green light for its third expansion, which has been earmarked for the industrial zone. Construction will start once the project has been issued its gas allocation by the Abu Dhabi Government.
Kizad is key to Abu Dhabi's strategy of diversifying its economy away from hydrocarbons. It is hoped that the harbour and the zone, which provides occupants with a road network and utilities infrastructure, will develop into a thriving industrial hub.
If the zone's first phase reaches full occupancy, a second larger perimeter can be put into service.