ROUNDUP: MIDDLE EAST
By Gordon Platt
Abu Dhabi tries to outdo Dubai with new port facilities
Abu Dhabi is pulling out all the stops to create a major port and industrial zone that will rival Dubai as a trading hub for the region. The first ship carrying a cargo of alumina from Jamaica arrived at Khalifa Port in Taweelah, midway between the two cities, in November. The bulk vessel docked at the offshore wharf and unloaded nearly 26,000 metric tons of smelting-grade alumina for Emirates Aluminum, which is jointly owned by Dubai and Mubadala Development.
Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone, one of the biggest projects in the region, is being built by state-owned Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) as part of Abu Dhabi's 2030 Vision plan to diversify the oil-based economy of the emirate. Billed as the world's largest industrial zone, with $8.5 billion in construction projects already committed and another $18.5 billion yet to be awarded in its first phase, the complex will comprise industry clusters for petrochemicals, steel, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, chemicals, biotechnology, metals, logistics and food and beverages companies.
Work was completed in early 2010 on two bridges and a 2.2-mile causeway linking the offshore and onshore areas of the port. In September 2010, ADPC announced that Hyundai Engineering and Construction had been awarded the contract for project management, design, procurement and construction of all related civil works, including the breakbulk and container terminals and cranes. The port will be able to accommodate the world's largest container ships.
Meanwhile, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) announced that it is working on an agro-industrial park that will enable Palestinian companies to export their products to world markets through Jordan. The $100 million facility near Jericho will facilitate trade between the West Bank and Jordan.