Aiming to transform Abu Dhabi into a leading pulp and paper products hub, AD Ports Group, the region’s premier facilitator of logistics, industry and trade has signed a strategic agreement with Alexander Global Logistics GmbH.

As per the agreement, the two parties will work closely to establish and launch a transshipment hub dedicated to handling pulp and paper products, which will operate from Khalifa Port, AD Ports Group’s flagship port and a vital link connecting East and West trade.

“The hub aims to address the changing needs of the global supply chain, both for pulp and paper producers and customers. In the first stage, expected to be completed by Q3 2022, a total of 20,000 sqm of quayside warehousing will be established in Khalifa Port. From there, all kinds of forestry products will be distributed into the Gulf region and beyond,” said Saif Al Mazrouei, CEO of Ports Cluster, AD Ports Group.

Key milestone

He said: “Today’s announcement marks a key milestone in Khalifa Port’s ongoing development to support the UAE’s industrialisation efforts, and is also the first step in what we see as Abu Dhabi’s transformation into a regional leader for pulp and paper products.”

“Leveraging our long-standing expertise as the emirate’s leading facilitator of trade, logistics, and industry, as well as Abu Dhabi’s central location linking global trade and its multi-modal connectivity solutions over air, sea, land, and future rail, our new joint venture with Alexander Global Logistics GmbH will meet the evolving needs of this fast-growing industry.

Carsten Hellmers, CEO of Alexander Global Logistics GmbH, said: “We are very excited about this project, as we have the strongest belief that the combination of expertise and knowledge of the industry brought into this agreement by Alexander Global Logistics plus the unique location, abilities and resources provided by AD Ports Group will soon allow the Pulp and Paper industry to have a world-class terminal to serve customers in the Abu Dhabi hinterland and reach other destinations taking full advantage of the hub.”

Expanding port capabilities

The announcement marks the latest in a series of developments at Khalifa Port aimed at expanding the deep-water port’s capabilities to support a wide variety of industries.

In 2021, AD Ports Group signed a 50-year land lease agreement with Anchorage Investment that will see the development of a grain storage and processing plant at Khalifa Port that will be overseen by agro commodity processor National Feed.

Last year also saw the signing of a 35-year concession agreement between AD Ports Group and CMA CGM Group, one of the world’s leading providers of shipping and logistics solutions.

New terminal

As per the agreement, the two parties will work closely to launch a new AED570 million ($154 million) terminal in Khalifa Port that will be operated by a new joint venture owned by CMA CGM (70% stake) and AD Ports Group (30%).

Elsewhere in the port, progress is already under way on the development of Abu Dhabi’s first greenfield commercial bulk liquid storage terminal that is being built as part of a strategic agreement signed with Saudi Arabia-based Arabian Chemical Terminals (ACT) back in 2020.