Abu Dhabi reveals world's largest industrial zone plans

Abu Dhabi has unveiled its largest infrastructure project to date: the world’s biggest industrial zone project which is being built in Taweelah. 100 per cent foreign ownership rights will be granted to specific industrial units that add value to the emirate’s drive for economic diversification.

The Khalifa Industrial Zone (Kizad) is investing US$7.2 billion. This includes the cost of the first phase of the Khalifa Port, an integral part of the mega project, Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) CEO, Tony Douglas, said in a recent media briefing according to the Khaleej Times. The industrial zone will cover 417 sq km and be built in two phases over several years.

Others speaking at the briefing included ADPC Chairman, Dr Sultan Al Jaber and Industrial Zones Executive Vice-President, Khaled Salmeen, who said ADPC has adopted a “dual operating mode,” which sees 100 per cent ownership granted to investors, providing that such projects boost economic diversification.

Dr Al Jaber said that, “some specific manufacturing companies will be considered given their business plans.” The project is 60 km from Abu Dhabi and 45 km from Jebel Ali and will be linked to the up-coming railway line. It has a dedicated port and it will have easy access to Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s four airports, apart from the inter-emirate motorway for the transportation of goods manufactured.

The project is the key element in Abu Dhabi Economic 2030, which aims to diversify the economy away from reliance on oil. Kizad is expected to contribute around 15 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s non-oil GDP by 2030.

Phase one of the port development is already in its advanced stages, while the industrial zone will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2012 and will have clusters dedicated to the petrochemicals, steel, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, chemicals, biotechnology, metals, logistics and food and beverages industries.

Emirates Aluminium, which is jointly owned by Dubal and Mubadala Development Company, has already started its production in the zone. Phase two of the zone is to be spread over 365 sq km and will contain industries including hi-tech, light manufacturing and logistics, as well as housing facilities. The first wave of development is expected to be filled by 2018.

Khalifa Port will have the capacity to handle two million containers a year and nine million of cargo, four times the present capacity of Abu Dhabi's current main port, Mina Zayei. The capacity will be multiplied to 15mn containers and 35mn tons of cargo by 2030.

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