The chief executive of the company, Mohamed Juma al-Shamisi, said that the expected growth in the traffic will follow major infrastructure project in the main UAE ports.
In an interview Mohamed Juma al-Shamisi said that the Khalifa Port's container traffic is expected to reach 1.1 million TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units) which is 22 % up compared to the 905,000 TEUs last year.
The expected combined numbers for the general and bulk cargo traffic at the two ports is 12 million tonnes in 2014. The volumes for 2013 and 2012 were about the same - 9.3 million tonnes. Mohamed Juma al-Shamisi said:
“It is going to be a big jump but all the givens that we have at the moment are pointing towards it.
We expect a big rise in the last quarter of this year in general and project cargo, because most of the vital projects in the emirate of Abu Dhabi will be in the maturing stage. We expect from September and into next year there will be a spike."
Khalifa port has been operational since 2012. It is on a man-made island located in the mid-way between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It came on stream after Zayed Port reached its full capacity (Zayed Port has been operational for 40 years now). The location of Zayed Port, in the city center, is one of the reason for ADPC to focus on developing the port mainly in a cruise one. In 2013, the port welcomed 92 cruise ships with more that 160,000 passengers.
" The facilities that are there now are working but are only temporary, and we are working on having permanent facilities for cruise vessels and developing the infrastructure. This is a natural cycle for ports, where the city grows around the port and then the facility reaches full capacity and is transformed into a tourist hub while commercial activity moves elsewhere," Shamisi said.
Khalifa port is in constant competition with the huge Jebel Ali port in Dubai, which is located 25 miles (40 km) along the Gulf coast, direction north.
The investments of billions of dollars are mainly in the infrastructure, tourism and real estates in Abu Dhabi. Some of the strategic projects include the expansion of the International Airport in Abu Dhabi, construction of a nuclear power station (expected in 2017) and the new Abu Dhabi Louvre museum (expected in 2015).
Mohamed Juma al-Shamisi commented:
“Through Khalifa Port, Emirates Aluminium (Emal) for example receives all of its raw materials and exports its aluminium to all over the world, and now that they are increasing their capacity, this will increase the traffic as well.”
Currently, the annual capacity of Khalifa port is 2.5 million TEUs. The long-term goal of ADPC is the capacity to reach 15 million TEUs of containers and 35 million tonnes of bulk cargo by 2030.