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Abu Dhabi Ports cancels bond sale

Mina Zayed port handled 518,000 TEUs, up two per cent over the previous year (FILE)

By Reuters

State-owned Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) has cancelled plans to issue bonds this year after securing enough financing for its $7.2 billion Khalifa Port & Industrial Zone through its lenders.

Chief executive Tony Douglas also said on Tuesday he expected seven per cent growth in container volumes in 2011 due to the large pipeline of projects under way in Abu Dhabi, the wealthiest emirate in the UAE.

ADPC said in July it may sell up to $1 billion in bonds in the first quarter of 2011 and had appointed National Bank of Abu Dhabi as financial advisor to draw up a long-term financial strategy.

"The investment outlay for phase one of the Khalifa Port is Dh26.5 billion ($7.2 billion), all funded through bilateral funding agreements with a number of banks," Douglas told reporters at a conference.

Abu Dhabi is investing billions of dollars in infrastructure, real estate and tourism to diversify its economy away from oil.

"We expect to see a 20 per cent growth in 2011, that is because one of our customers will be going into containers from palletized shipping," Douglas said.

"But underlying growth expected is seven per cent," he said. "Growth will be driven by mainly project cargo into Abu Dhabi where significantly large projects are being developed."

Abu Dhabi's Mina Zayed port handled 518,000 TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units), up two per cent over the previous year, Douglas said earlier on Tuesday.

Mina Zayed's operations will move to the new Khalifa Port in the fourth quarter of 2012, he said.

When the Khalifa Port's first phase becomes operational in 2012, it will have capacity of two million containers and nine million tonnes of cargo a year, four times higher than existing capacity at Abu Dhabi's main Mina Zayed port.

"Ninety-five percent of containers that come to Mina Zayed stays in Abu Dhabi -- It is a destination port, so Khalifa Port will become a destination port."