Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT) has completed the strategic redirection of container traffic from the confines of downtown Abu Dhabi to a spacious new terminal 60 kilometres east of the city centre.
The move of the container trade from Mina Zayed, a long-established port that has served Abu Dhabi for over 40 years, to Khalifa Port, the region's newest and only semi-automated terminal, was completed three months ahead of schedule and less than three months after the new port began commercial operations on September 1, 2012.
The last container vessel to call at Mina Zayed was the Jolly Arancione voy 290, a ship belonging to the Italy-headquartered Messina Line. The mixed-use ship can transport 1,800 TEUs, an industry term for twenty-foot-long containers, on its deck and dozens of wheeled vehicles in a seven-level multi-storey car park in its hull.
Mina Zayed handled around 770,000 TEUs in 2011. With an initial capacity to handle 2.5 million TEUs annually and the potential to expand to 5 million, Khalifa Port more than compensates for the capacity lost by the end of the container business near the city centre.
It can also handle 12 million tonnes of general cargo every year.
"With the strategic redirection of container traffic to Khalifa Port, Abu Dhabi's ports have the capacity to handle more containers, more cargo and more cruise liners," said Martijn Van de Linde, the Chief Executive Officer of ADT. "The extra capacity gives every business and government entity in Abu Dhabi the means to grow and develop".
Khalifa Port has six of the world's largest ship-to-shore cranes and an automated stacking system that is more advanced than any other port facility in the Middle East. Its deep sea berths can accommodate the largest container vessels roaming the seas.