Ports operator DP World announced on Tuesday the start of construction work on a new US$1.6 billion container terminal at Jebel Ali Port.
DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said the Phase 1 of the Container Terminal 4 (T4) project will deliver new capacity of 3.1 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) by 2018, taking Jebel Ali Port's total capacity to 22.1 million TEU. The port complex will be equipped with at least 110 cranes with a total quay length of around 11,000 metres by that time.
T4 will be located on a reclaimed island north of the existing Terminal 2 allowing DP World to further expand capacity to a total of 7.8 million TEU in line with market demand. As part of the project, a bridge is being built to provide access to the island from land near Terminal 2. Work is scheduled to get the 3,000 metre causeway and bridge partially open to traffic before the end of 2015.
Bin Sulayem said the new capacity is a response to feedback from customers expressing the need for more capacity at Jebel Ali due to an expected increase in trade in the run up to Expo 2020. Shipping lines will be able to bring more of the world's largest vessels to our terminals so helping improve the efficiency of the region's supply chain."
Meanwhile, Jebel Ali and other DP World terminals in the UAE handled 7.9 million TEU in the first half of 2015, representing a growth of six per cent compared with the first half of 2014.
Bin Sulayem said Jebel Ali continues to respond to market demand as in the past. "Despite the addition of two million TEUs capacity in Terminal 3 scheduled in the second half 2015, the port still experiences high levels of utilisation."
"With Jebel Ali's total capacity set to reach 22.1 million TEU in 2018, we are ensuring our flagship asset in Dubai continues to have sufficient capacity to serve the future growth demand of the UAE and the wider region," he said.
Terminal 4 will be equipped with semi-automated quay cranes, providing operational efficiencies for customers, comfortable and safe working conditions for employees and environmental benefits for the community at large by reducing the carbon footprint. Under Phase 1, T4 will feature a 1,200 metre long quay with an 18 metre draft, and 13 of the world's largest and most modern quay cranes, remotely operated from a sophisticated control room off the quayside. Some 35 Automated Rail Mounted Gantry cranes will operate in the yard.
"We have invested significantly in the infrastructure, equipment, technology and training of our teams at Jebel Ali. Our priority is to ensure that we can serve our customers efficiently and help them realise the benefits of scale that the fleet of new, larger vessels bring.
"Today, Jebel Ali has the capability to accommodate ten of these mega container ships simultaneously. The new state-of-the-art facility at Terminal 4 will increase this number significantly," said Bin Sulayem.