HE Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman, DP World, has officially opened the new extension to Container Terminal 2 (T2) at flagship Jebel Ali Port, welcoming one of the largest container ships afloat, the La Spezia.
A red carpet welcome was given to the 366-metre long vessel, which has 14,000teu capacity and during a quay-side ceremony, HE Bin Sulayem presented the ship’s Master, Captain Dirk Radig, and Nigel Fernando, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) General Manager, with a commemorative gift to mark the occasion.
The ceremony was also attended by HE Jamal Majid Bin Thaniah, Vice Chairman, Mohammed Sharaf, Group Chief Executive Officer, Mohammed Al Muallem, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, DP World, UAE Region and other senior DP World officials.
The expansion adds one million teu to take capacity at Jebel Ali Port to 15 million teu, extending the T2 quay wall by 400 metres to 3,000 metres. This allows the simultaneous handling of six mega ships. Together with Container Terminal 3, which is now under construction, Jebel Ali Port will reach 19 million teu capacity by 2014 and will be able to handle 10 of the giant new generation vessels at the same time.
HE Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman, DP World, said: “We are delighted to welcome the MSC La Spezia to mark the start of operations at our brand new expansion. We are committed to serving all our customers and helping them realise the efficiencies possible from the new generation vessels. Efficiency is the hallmark that sets Jebel Ali apart as the region’s premier port and the reason why it’s been voted the Best Seaport in the Middle East for 19 years in a row. It has played a significant role in the UAE’s economic growth and in supporting Dubai’s sustained development, and is set to continue that role far in the future, serving a wider region of around two billion people.”
Mohammed Sharaf, Group Chief Executive Officer, DP World, said: “Expanding Jebel Ali Port’s capacity in line with market demand is part of our commitment to be always ready to meet the emerging needs of the shipping lines and traders. This is also true of our pipeline of expansion projects and new developments across the DP World portfolio. As we welcome MSC La Spezia to this brand new part of our flagship port we congratulate the management of the UAE Region, its employees and our project partners in delivering the Terminal 2 expansion on schedule, ready to serve the expanding needs of our customers.”
Mohammed Al Muallem, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, DP World, UAE Region, said: “We are always ready to invest in Jebel Ali to ensure we can continue to provide our customers with the service they have come to expect from us in one of the busiest regions in the world. With our customers now deploying ultra large container ships (ULCS), we are working tirelessly to complete the work on Container Terminal 3 as planned to cater for even more of these giants. MSC are an important customer for us and we thank them for their continued support.”
With an average monthly throughput in excess of one million teu over the past two years, Jebel Ali continues to be under pressure with larger vessels and a larger proportion of cargo destined for or originating from this market. The new T3 will be one of the finest modern marine terminals in the world, with a quay length of 1,860 metres, a 70 hectare storage yard, and a draft of 17 metres. Once completed, the new terminal will create more than 1,000 jobs directly.