Keep on rolling for rail and road
The Kezad Group is diversifying its portfolio. Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi (the Kezad Group) has operated the deepwater gateway Khalifa Port, located between Abu Dhabi and Dubai (UAE), since 2012. In July the subsidiary of the AD Ports Group, which specialises in integrated logistics services, signed several agreements covering two other sectors, in addition to maritime transport.
The Kezad Group and Al Jazeera Steel Products broke ground recently for a rolling mill with rail production capabilities – the first such facility in the region. According to the partners the event on 12 July marked “the beginning of a new era of industrial development” for the Middle East.
The plant, which will occupy an area of 210,000 m2 (equivalent to around 30 football pitches), aims to advance technological progress in the region, increase steel production capacity to 450,000 t a year and meet growing demand there for high-quality steel products.
Concrete plans to build a rail network in the Gulf region are currently being implemented. It will stretch from Oman through the UAE and Saudi Arabia to Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait. Demand for steel railway components is thus expected to increase, demand that the new plant aims to meet.
The Kezad Group additionally expects to improve services for its existing steel customers through the plant, and also to diversify its portfolio together with Al Jazeera Steel.
Chinese cars to Abu Dhabi
Based on an agreement that twinned Khalifa Port and Shandong Port in China in December 2021, AD Ports also signed several new cooperation agreements in July with the conglomerate Shandong Port Group (SPG).
Under these agreements SPG will ship cars from its ports in China to the Khalifa Port car terminal, where they will be stored in Kezad facilities. This move will strengthen Abu Dhabi’s position as a preferred destination for Chinese cars. SPG deputy general manager Jai Funing said that the group plans to establish a Mena regional centre in Abu Dhabi by the end of this year.
He added that “the continuous improvement of the overseas supply chain for goods exports is rapidly increasing the Chinese tyre and commercial vehicle industry’s ability to compete in overseas markets. Therefore we firmly believe that our cooperation with AD Ports will further intensify in future.”