Chinese manufacturer Roadbot is investing $600 million in construction the UAE's first tyre manufacturing plant in the Khalifa Industrial zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD). The Roadbot factory is being built in KIZAD’s China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Zone and will be fully operational by October 2020.
The 2.2-square-kilometre Demonstration Zone is being developed by Jiangsu Provincial Overseas Cooperation and Investment Company (JOCIC), and Roadbot becomes the first Chinese firm to set up there since JOCIC and Abu Dhabi Ports signed a 50-year agreement in 2017. The Roadbot Tyre Project KIZAD, which was launched last year during the visit of Chinese Premier Xi Jinping to the UAE, is the latest milestone of the agreement. The project will strengthen Abu Dhabi’s connection to China’s Belt and Road trade initiative as well as its position Abu Dhabi a regional original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and replacement tyre market. It will also play a major role in the UAE’s economic diversification and sustainability plans, creating up to 1,200 new jobs and supporting the development of a sustainable ecosystem for the automotive industry in the UAE.
The 275,000sqm Roadbot factory will have an initial annual production capacity of 3 million passenger car radial (PCR) tyres and 1 million truck and bus radial (TBR) tyres. The factory will meet the global tyre industry’s highest standards of design and construction, and, when completed, be an intelligent, fully automated, and eco-friendly. It will include alpine waterfalls and ecological gardens in the atrium to create an inviting and encouraging environment for employees. The facility will also harness the latest technology to enhance productivity, such as the internet of things, logistics automation, smart equipment, equipment networking and system real-time data collection, and intelligent analysis.
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE minister of state and chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports, said: "The groundbreaking of the Roadbot Tyre Project KIZAD marks another significant step towards cementing Abu Dhabi’s role as a hub for global trade and connectivity, leveraging the UAE’s unique position as a trading link between the East and West. It also demonstrates the increasingly close ties between the UAE and China, and reinforces the UAE’s role as a key partner in China’s Belt and Road initiative."
Zhang Yingzi, chairwoman, Roadbot, said: "The Roadbot Abu Dhabi tyre project is the result of close cooperation between the UAE and Chinese governments. It is an important part of the Belt and Road Initiative and a crystallization of multiculturalism, based on the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration."
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “Roadbot will connect Abu Dhabi to global and regional automotive manufacturing demand; joining over 19 Chinese companies that have signed agreements to invest over $1 billion in the demonstration zone established within the KIZAD. These companies have identified the value proposition that helped put Abu Dhabi Ports and KIZAD on the global trade map, especially in the context of the China’s Belt and Road Initiative.”