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26 February 2024

Abu Dhabi Ports takes 1st loan for $10bn project

By Mily Chakrabarty and agencies



State-owned Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) has taken a Dh1.1 bn ($300 million) loan with National Bank of Abu Dhabi in its first financing deal for a $10 billion port and industrial zone, the bank said on Sunday.

The facility will cover the initial construction costs of Khalifa Port, National Bank said in a statement.

The company plans to spend about $10 billion on the project and finance it through conventional and Islamic bonds, Chief Executive Ahmed Saeed al-Calily said in July.

Abu Dhabi Ports is the master developer of the Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone. The deadline for the first phase of Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone at Taweelah, located between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, is 2010. The Khalifa Port will ultimately be developed in five stages.

In October 2007, ADPC signed a Dh5.5bn dredging and reclamation contract for phase-1 of the project. The contract was signed by an international consortium of Archirodon Construction, Royal Boskalis and Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company Ltd (Consortium ABH).

ADPC is developing the port and adjacent industrial site to encourage industrial expansion. While the emirate’s Mina Zayed port is hemmed in, Taweelah is surrounded by desert, leaving enough scope for further expansion.

The industrial clusters that will be created include base metals, transport vehicles assembling, chemicals, shipyards and building materials.

The industrial zone will allow foreign firms majority ownership rights, one of only two in the emirate. Firms from outside the Gulf are otherwise entitled to a maximum 49 per cent shareholding in ventures in the emirate.

By 2028, the Khalifa port will be geared to handle 37 million tonnes of general cargo and 5 million containers per year. The port will contribute to the development of the commercial and industrial sector in the UAE and the region.