x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Palletco joins the move into Abu Dhabi’s Kizad

Palletco, a manufacturer of plastic packaging, is to set up operations at Kizad, becoming the 44th company to establish a presence at the industrial zone.

Officials hope that by 2030 as much as 15 per cent of the emirate’s GDP will stem from Kizad, which covers 418 square kilometres in total. KARIM SAHIB / AFP
Officials hope that by 2030 as much as 15 per cent of the emirate’s GDP will stem from Kizad, which covers 418 square kilometres in total. KARIM SAHIB / AFP

Palletco,a manufacturer of plastic packaging, is to set up operations at Kizad, bringing to 44 the number of companies setting up a presence at the industrial zone.

Six firms have already broken ground on their sites, meaning the 51 square kilometre space of the industrial park’s first phase is slowly filling up.

“All of the years of planning we have been doing are starting to bear fruit,” said Khaled Salmeen, the chief executive and managing director of the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad).

“We have 43 clients that are putting their designs together and finalising their work and five or six of those have broken ground.”

Palletco, currently based in Dubai, has signed a Dh90.7 million 50-year deal to set up a manufacturing facility in the zone’s plastics cluster. It will start production nearly next year after taking a 23,000 square metre plot of land.

The company makes plastic crates and pallets used in the food and beverages and logistics sectors.

The other businesses already signed up operate across a range of sectors including food processing, plastics and aluminium mixed-use manufacturing.

Mr Salmeen said Kizad was also in negotiations to bring a GCC-based food manufacturing business to Kizad.

It means two years after opening Kizad is making progress in its goal of diversifying the Abu Dhabi economy. Officials hope that by 2030 as much as 15 per cent of the emirate’s GDP will stem from Kizad, which covers 418 square kilometres in total.

Last month, Kizad set up its first overseas office in Mumbai in a bid to further tempt Indian companies to the site. Along with the GCC and Europe, Asia is a key target market for Kizad.

“India is for us by far the clearest and strongest market for a number of reasons,” Mr Saleem said. “One it’s the first trading partner for the UAE and, secondly, its the proximity as well. Its just as far to go from Mumbai to Delhi as it is to go from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi.”

One of the key attractions of Kizad is the zone’s deep-water Khalifa Port, the region’s first fully automated facility. It means companies can easily ship their goods in and out of Abu Dhabi.

Since opening in September last year, Khalifa Port has grown its destinations from three to 45.

Movements of container volumes through the port grew 28.7 per cent last month compared to the same period of last year. The number of twenty-foot equivalent units last month reached 100,081.

“We have covered Asia, so we have China and Japan and all of the Asian subcontinent, as well as Europe,” said Mr Salmeen, who is also the chairman of Abu Dhabi Terminals.

“It means shipping lines travelling between Asia and Europe and the other way use Khalifa Port.”

Marketed as a “one-stop-shop” for industrial players, Mr Salmeen said Kizad was working to improve further the ease of doing business.

By streamlining the process for gaining approvals from various Abu Dhabi authorities for new investors, the time between signing a deal to set up within the park and breaking ground had been cut to within six months, he said.

tarnold@thenational.ae