On November 5, COSCO SHIPPING Ports Limited (“COSCO SHIPPING Ports”) held their ground-breaking ceremony for the CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal during a high-level event at Khalifa Port. The event also witnessed the signing of a new agreement between COSCO SHIPPING Ports and Abu Dhabi Ports Company PJSC (“AD Ports”), the master developer, operator and manager of commercial and community ports within the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the Port of Fujairah and Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), for the leasing of a container freight station (“CFS”).
The ground-breaking ceremony was presided over by His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Department of Transport and member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports and H.E. Ning Jizhe, Deputy Director of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”) and head of the National Bureau of Statistics who also witnessed the unveiling of the ground-breaking plaque as well as the signing ceremony for the new CFS.
Also in attendance were H.E. Ni Jian, ambassador of the PRC in the UAE , H.E. Ali Obaid Ali Al Yabhouni Al Dhaheri, ambassador of the UAE to the PRC, Capt. Xu Lirong, Chairman of China COSCO SHIPPING Corporation Limited (“COSCO SHIPPING”), Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports and Mr. Zhang Wei, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of COSCO SHIPPING Ports.
The signing ceremony between CSP and AD Ports, for the leasing of a CFS, was held prior to the ground-breaking ceremony and unveiling of the plaque, and the agreement was signed by Mr. Zhang Wei and Captain Al Shamisi.
On behalf of COSCO SHIPPING, Capt. Xu Lirong presented a model of M.V. CSCL GLOBE, a 19,100-TEU containership owned by COSCO SHIPPING, to H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber.
At the ground-breaking ceremony, His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber and H.E. Ning Jizhe jointly pressed the button and officially launched the construction of the terminal.
Top government leaders and corporate executives from the two countries witnessed the signing of agreement and delivered speeches.
Mr. Ning Jizhe expressed his view that, “Khalifa Port is one of the fastest growing ports in the world and an important gateway in the region, with huge potential and bright prospects. COSCO SHIPPING Ports is marching another step forward in the port development project with Abu Dhabi Ports. The solid progress of this project writes a new chapter for the cooperation between China and the UAE in infrastructure investment, construction and related services, and bears new fruit for the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, injecting new energy to cement and facilitate China-UAE economic and trade ties.”
Speaking on the occasion of the ground-breaking, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said, “Following the guidance and vision of the leadership, Abu Dhabi Ports has played an important role in expanding trading links between the UAE and China, which is now the UAE’s second largest trading partner. The partnership between Abu Dhabi Ports and COSCO SHIPPING Ports to develop the region’s largest container freight station will add a new dimension to UAE/China trade relations and is fully aligned with Abu Dhabi’s Vision 2030 to drive growth, attract investment, support economic diversification and create sustainable jobs.”
Capt. Xu Lirong, Chairman of COSCO SHIPPING said, “China and UAE’s growing relations in recent years has created favourable environment and conditions for the cooperation between the two countries in the port and shipping industries. Khalifa Port is an important gateway in Abu Dhabi, an important hub in the Middle East, and a major focal point for the ‘Belt and Road’, thus plays a significant role in the shipping industry. The signing of the agreement on CSP Abu Dhabi CFS project will further strengthen the services of the terminal and enhance the trade ties between the two countries. Ports are core resources of COSCO SHIPPING, and it is the foundation and strategic support of our global network. The steady development of the port business will bring mutual benefits to our shipping business and other business in upstream and downstream.”
Mr. Zhang Wei, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of COSCO SHIPPING Ports indicated, “CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal is the first overseas Greenfield project controlled by COSCO SHIPPING Ports. The project encompasses our passion to build our own strategic terminal and our goal to drive the economic growth of the region. COSCO SHIPPING Ports is dedicated to building a highly efficient comprehensive terminal and transshipment hub with synergies between ports and carriers, and a solid services network connecting transportations in the sea, land and air. We believe a successful business model drives economic growth, fosters the growth of trade and economy in the regions while achieving our own growth.”
CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal is located at Khalifa Port, which is situated along the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road’ and the shipping hub of West Asia region. COSCO SHIPPING Ports Abu Dhabi Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of COSCO SHIPPING Ports, entered into the Concession Agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports on September 28, 2016. According to the agreement, the two sides shall establish a joint venture to run the phase-II container terminal at Khalifa Port. COSCO SHIPPING Ports Abu Dhabi Company shall hold controlling shares in the joint venture.
The construction and development of the terminal, with a 1,200-meter coastline, is expected to last approximately one and half years and will commence operations in the first quarter of 2019. With an annual designed capacity of about 2.5 million TEU and backed by the large shipping fleets of COSCO SHIPPING, CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal will be well placed to be a shipping hub for major international shipping companies in the Upper Gulf Region.
In attendance at the event were political and business leaders from the UAE, officers from the Embassy of the PRC in the UAE, representatives from Chinese corporations, construction companies and equipment suppliers, staff from various divisions of COSCO SHIPPING and management in charge of COSCO SHIPPING West Asia FZE.
After the ceremony, accompanied by Capt. Xu Lirong, a delegation led by Mr. Ning Jizhe boarded and greeted the crew of M.V. COSCO EUROPE of COSCO SHIPPING, which was berthing at Khalifa Port.