Port developer and operator Abu Dhabi Ports is to welcome some of the world’s largest bulk carriers as part of a long-term port facility deal signed with UAE-based industrial company Emirates Global Aluminium.
Under the agreement, EGA would use Capesize vessels to import bauxite from the Republic of Guinea in West Africa for Al Taweelah alumina refinery through Khalifa Port. The parties informed that, with this deal, Abu Dhabi Ports would be able to develop the port to become the first in the Gulf capable of directly handling these massive ships.
Abu Dhabi Ports will fund and complete dredging and widening works to the Khalifa Port approach channel and basin including EGA’s berth. The dredging will deepen the channel to 18.5 metres and basin to 18 metres basis zero tide.
EGA plans to use large dry bulk ships to import raw materials without the need to transfer all or some of the cargo to smaller vessels outside the port, reducing long-term shipping costs and improving environmental performance.
The development at Khalifa Port is expected to lead to larger ships calling in to Abu Dhabi, boosting the Emirate’s position as a global maritime trade hub.
EGA is currently constructing UAE’s first alumina refinery next to its aluminium smelter in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, located adjacent to Khalifa Port. Upon achieving full-production, the Al Taweelah alumina refinery will process five million tonnes of bauxite per annum.
“Khalifa Port will be the first port in the region with capsize vessel handling capacity, and with EGA’s long term commitment, will give an important boost to trade and investment in KIZAD and more broadly in the region,” Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Ports, said.
Bauxite ore from Guinea will be transported to Abu Dhabi via the global shipping firm Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), under a separate agreement with EGA. One of the vessels K Line will use for this service was named Cape Taweelah in a ceremony held earlier this year.