Emirates Global Aluminium EGA) has announced the arrival of the first fully-laden Capesize vessel to call at any GCC port at its quay at Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi, inaugurating the import of bauxite for EGA’s new Al Taweelah alumina refinery using these huge bulk cargo vessels.
EGA imports bauxite ore from the Republic of Guinea to supply Al Taweelah alumina refinery, and using Capesize vessels reduces shipping costs per tonne.
Abu Dhabi Ports has modified the approaches to Khalifa Port to accommodate Capesize vessels bound for EGA, making it the first port in the Gulf able to accommodate these fully-loaded ships.
The approaches have been deepened from 16.5 metres to 18.5 metres draft and widened from 250 metres to 280 metres.
With a draft of 18.2 metres fully-laden, Capesize vessels are amongst the largest bulk cargo ships in the world. At other ports, Capesize vessels must be partially unloaded offshore before they can dock at the port safely.
The enhanced capability of Khalifa Port enables new trade opportunities, supporting other local industries and boosting Abu Dhabi as a regional maritime hub. Last month, the world’s largest container ship MV Solar berthed at Khalifa Port for the first time.
Capesize vessels are up to 300 metres long – more than the length of two football fields – and 50 metres wide. They can carry around 180,000 tonnes of bauxite ore.
"The arrival of Cape Taweelah is a landmark moment for EGA, but these huge ships will become a familiar sight at Khalifa Port over the years ahead,” said Abdulla Kalban, managing director and CEO of EGA.
“We are glad Abu Dhabi Ports addressed our need to bring Capesize vessels to our quay and decided to further develop the capabilities of Khalifa Port, also benefitting trade in Abu Dhabi and the UAE more broadly,” he added.