Khalifa Port’s CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal, the container terminal built and operated by China’s COSCO Shipping Ports in partnership with Abu Dhabi Ports, has received two of the world’s largest container vessels within less than a month.

COSCO Shipping’s 21,000 teu Solar and 20,000 teu Pisces are the third and fourth main line vessels respectively to pass through the terminal since it started trial operations on 20th April.

The arrival of the ships, which started their journeys from Qingdao in China, underlines Abu Dhabi’s position as a major trade hub within China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Chief Executive of Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “The container industry is constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency, and the use of mega-vessels to cut costs and time is a trend shaping the future of the sector.

We have ensured that, through CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal, Khalifa Port is able to handle the largest vessels of today and adapt to those of tomorrow.”

The 18m draft deep water, semi-automated container terminal has a design capacity of 2.5 million teu, and 1200 m of quay. CSP has so far invested AED1.1 billion in capital expenditure on construction and machinery at the terminal.

CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal is the result of a 35-year agreement between Abu Dhabi Ports and COSCO Shipping Ports, and forms part of a five-year strategy aimed at strengthening the maritime sector in the Emirate and driving economic diversification.

Abu Dhabi Ports has earmarked AED10 billion in investment that will increase capacity at Khalifa Port from the current 5 million teu to 9.1 million teu. The strategy includes boosting capacity at Terminal 1 to more than 5 million teu annually.