ABU DHABI: September 28, 2016. COSCO Shipping Ports has set up a joint venture with Abu Dhabi Ports (ADPC) for a 35-year concession to operate a new container terminal in Khalifa Port. The first 800 metres of the quay length will open in 2018 and an additional 400 metres by 2020.

COSCO Abu Dhabi portsThe facility will add 2.4 million TEUs a year to the port's existing capacity of 2.5 million and the deal includes an option for a further 600 metres to increase the annual handling capacity to 3.5 million TEUs.

"The signing of the concession agreement between Abu Dhabi Ports Company and COSCO Shipping Ports Limited will significantly expand trade between China, the UAE and the broader region," said Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of ADPC.

(Pictured left to right foreground: Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports; Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports; and Zhang Wei, vice chairman and managing director of COSCO Shipping Ports.)

COSCO operates a network of 46 terminals and 169 berths across Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Belgium and the U.S.

Wan Min, president of China's COSCO Shipping Corporation, said he was confident that the project would stimulate the implementation of China's 'One Belt One Road' initiative and "promote strategic cooperation between China and the UAE".

The expansion of the quay is part of broader developments at Khalifa that include a terminal booking, tracking and transaction system, advanced RORO facilities, new liner calls and the expansion of a regional liner hub.

Al Jaber added that the development of China's 'One Belt One Road' strategy would provide "boundless potential for expanding the UAE-China relationship further".