The Abu Dhabi Ports and China’s Cosco Shipping Ports joint venture has awarded Beijing-based China Harbour Engineering Company (Chec) a contract to upgrade the 1.2 kilometre-long container terminal at Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Port.

The value of the contract was not disclosed.

The scope entails mainly mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) work to automate the terminal, a source familiar with the project tells MEED.

This contract is independent of another Terminal 2 package which relates to the construction of a 1 kilometre quay wall as well as for the deepening of the port’s main channel and basin.

According to sources familiar with the second package, the bid evaluation process is still ongoing and they expect ADPC to award the contract before the end of 2017.

MEED understands that the firms, which submitted a bid for the quay wall construction, include:

The scope of work for the contract entails deepening the main channel and basin from 16.5 metres to 18 metres as well as the construction of 1,000 metres of quay wall. The work is expected to be completed in mid-2018.

The preparatory work for the terminal is currently being undertaken by Abu Dhabi-based National Marine Dredging Company.

Once completed, Terminal 2 is expected to add 2.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) to the port’s existing container capacity, with a provision for an additional 1 million TEU depending on the success of the business model and the port’s growth.

Cosco signed a 35-year concession agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports in September 2016 for the construction, operation and maintenance of Khalifa Port’s Terminal 2. The contract is renewable for five years. It is valued at an estimated $738m

Abu Dhabi Terminals will continue to operate the Khalifa Port’s Terminal 1.