Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) is working on a masterplan to build a second port at the Mussafah industrial area, according to a senior official at the port operating company.

The new port will have a 300-metre-long quay wall and will use the approach channel that is currently being dredged for the existing Mussafah port, which is on the mainland and close to the southern tip of Abu Dhabi island

Once the masterplan for the new port is completed by ADPC, it has to be approved by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council. If it goes ahead, the port will be developed in phases.

“Potentially, it [construction work on the new port] could start this year if there is instruction from the senior authorities,” said Waleed al-Tamimi, vice-president of ports at ADPC. He was speaking at MEED’s Middle East Ports Conference 2010 in Dubai on 1 February.

The new port will be developed close to the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi 4 development that, unlike the existing port at Mussafah, will not have its access impeded by urban developments on Abu Dhabi Island.

The local National Marine Dredging Company was awarded a AED1.5bn ($408m) dredging contract in November 2009 to dredge the channel to the existing port. The work is scheduled to be completed in mid-2010.

A second Mussafah port was previously planned by the Higher Corporation for Specialised Economic Zones (Zonescorp) but the project was cancelled in early 2008 while Abu Dhabi focused on developing the much larger Khalifa port at Taweelah, close to the border with Dubai.

The Zonescorp port would have been built in Industrial City of Abu Dhabi 3, at an estimated cost of AED1.5-2.5bn. Completion was originally expected in 2009. The Netherlands’ Royal Haskoning carried out the feasibility study (MEED 23:2:08).