Abu Dhabi’s new commercial port officially commenced operations on 1 September 2012 when it received one of the largest container ships in the world, the 366 meter (1,200 feet) MSC Bari. One of Abu Dhabi’s largest ever infrastructure projects, the port and its commercial industrial zone were delivered on time (2 years) and under budget ($7.2 billion). Wow! The state-of-the-art facility is the only semi-automated port in the MENA region (Middle East – North Africa), and one of the largest in the world.
Bechtel, headquartered in San Francisco, was a primary contractor in the port’s construction.
Enormous numbers — The total port area, including the reclaimed-land offshore port island, is 3.5 square miles. When the immense project is fully completed, forecast for 2030, its total area will cover more than two-thirds the size of the country of Bahrain. The port’s current annual capacity is 2.5 million TEU containers (20 foot equivalent units) and 12 million tons of general cargo. By comparison, that capacity is 75% of California’s busiest port – Port of Long Beach. By the year 2030, Abu Dhabi projects that its port will be able to handle up to 15 million TEU containers and 35 million tons of general cargo.
I find it difficult, however, to predict any economic occurrence with a degree of accuracy much beyond a couple of years into the future in today’s uncertain global economy. It has only been six years since Steve Jobs placed Apple’s first i-Phone on the market, and it has changed the course of communication.