Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 29 January 2020

Khalifa Port to connect to UAE national railway under new deal

Etihad Rail signs deal with Abu Dhabi Ports as part of the second phase of the project

Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi will be connected to the UAE's national railway network. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Ports
Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi will be connected to the UAE's national railway network. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Ports

State-owned developer Etihad Rail will connect the UAE’s rail network with one of the country’s largest ports following a deal with Abu Dhabi Ports.

Shadi Malak, chief executive of Etihad Rail, and Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, chief executive Abu Dhabi Ports, signed an agreement on Monday to link the emirate’s Khalifa Port with the under-construction national rail network.

Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and chairman of Etihad Rail, and Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports Company, also attended the signing, which is part of the second phase of the railway’s development that is overseen and operated by Etihad Rail.

Earlier this month, the company launched a fresh strategy for the railway’s development after it secured funding from the UAE Ministry of Finance last year for the project’s second phase, which will expand the current network of 264 kilometres by 605km – more than tripling the railway in length and extending services from the UAE-Saudi border to Fujairah, with more routes to come.

The railway is a key component of the UAE’s future transport strategy, as it intends to carry freight for the country’s sizeable mining, quarrying, shipping, distribution and oil and gas industries, as well as serve passengers from city centres and the suburbs.

Connecting Khalifa Port to the national rail network under Monday’s deal will raise competitiveness and increase the size of the train station at Khalifa Port to become the largest in the network, with an annual capacity of 2.4 million containers, Sheikh Theyab said.

One train will have the ability to carry the load of 300 trucks, making it capable of providing competitive services and will create opportunities for businesses to gain an edge in key markets, he added.

Khalifa Port’s capacity is expected to increase to 9.1 million containers annually over the next five years, the UAE’s state-run news agency Wam reported.

“The train station was designed to improve infrastructure and raise the capacity of our ports to transfer goods in a more economical and reliable way, by enabling one train to transport loads equivalent to that of 300 trucks,” Sheikh Theyab was quoted as saying.

“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,” Sultan Al Jaber added.

Updated: February 20, 2019 02:36 AM