Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) will announce a number of major decisions at the end of March regarding the operation of Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad).

At the World’s Ports Summit between 28-30 March, ADPC could make potential announcements for the operator of Khalifa port, the range of services available at the facility and Kizad, and also which investors will be granted 100 per cent foreign ownership.

Kizad was officially launched on 13 November 2010 (14:11:10).

The first phase of Kizad is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2012 and is currently 68 per cent complete, says Tony Douglas, chief executive of ADPC, speaking at MEED’s Middle East Ports & Shipping 2011 conference.

The first phase includes the port that will have an initial capacity of two million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) a year. It also includes Zone A of the industrial zone that is spread across 51 square kilometres and comprises a number of sectors such as steel, aluminium, petrochemicals, paper print and packaging, pharmaceuticals, trade and logistics and engineered metal products. The total cost of the first phase of both developments is $7.2bn.

Zone B of the industrial zone will be 366 sq km.

ADPC is also committed to developing smaller ports in the emirate, including those at Sila, Delma, Mugharrag, Sir Baniyas and Marfa.

The new Khalifa port will replace the ageing Mina Zayed as Abu Dhabi’s destination port. Mina Zayed is forecast to see 20 per cent growth in container traffic in 2011, although capacity is limited within the existing infrastructure.

A dedicated rail spur from the UAE’s federal railway will serve the port itself, but this is not likely to happen until about 2015, Douglas says.