AD Ports Group and CMA CGM Group officials seen following the signing ceremony.

UAE-based AD Ports Group, the region’s premier facilitator of logistics and trade, has announced the signing of a 35-year concession agreement with France-based CMA CGM Group, a world leader in shipping and logistics, for a new terminal to be set up in Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Port.

Under the terms of the agreement, a new terminal will be established in Khalifa Port, the first semi-automated container port in the GCC region, which will be managed by a joint venture owned by CMA CGM’s subsidiary CMA Terminals (with a 70 per cent stake) and AD Ports Group (30 per cent stake).

The partners are expected to commit approximately AED570 million ($154 million) to the project.

As per the deal, AD Ports Group will be responsible for developing a wide range of supporting marine works and infrastructure. This includes up to a total of 1,200 m of quay wall, a 3,800-m breakwater, a fully built-out rail platform, and 700,000 sq m of terminal yard.

AD Ports Group said work on the project will begin by the year-end and is due for handover in 2024. Phase One will boast an initial quay length of 800 m and an estimated annual capacity of 1.8 million TEUs.

 The terminal will provide CMA CGM with a new regional hub and will enable the group to develop its service offering between Abu Dhabi and South Asia, Western Asia, East Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean as well as the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent.

According to AD Ports Group, the agreement confirms Khalifa Port’s standing as one of only a few major ports in the world providing hubs for three of the world’s top shipping lines, as well as serving as an instrumental part of the global maritime trade connecting markets from east to west.