AD Ports inks deal with Chinese firm for infrastructure project - GulfToday

AD Ports inks deal with Chinese firm for infrastructure project


Top officials after the signing ceremony in Abu Dhabi.

AD Ports Group has signed a contract with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) for the development of buildings and topside infrastructure for the cutting-edge CMA Terminals Khalifa Port, a joint venture owned by CMA CGM’s subsidiary CMA Terminals (with a 70 per cent stake) and AD Ports Group (30 per cent stake).

The agreement includes the development of the first net zero carbon administration building to be constructed for the joint venture, which is being developed in-line with the company’s role as an official partner of World Green Building Council’s Middle East & North Africa Regional Network. The award-winning administration building, which won the Net Zero Design Building Project of the Year in October, will be a highly energy efficient building that is powered from renewable energy sources and offsets.

In addition, the agreement will see the development of 28 office and utilities across the terminal, more than one million square metres of yard paving, reefer stacks, STS cranes and access roads.

The terminal, which is expected to be operational in H1 2025, will be managed by a 70/30 joint venture owned by CMA Terminals, a subsidiary of CMA CGM, a global player in sea, land, air, and logistics solutions, and AD Ports Group. Once completed, CMA Terminals Khalifa Port will have an initial capacity of 1.8 million TEUs, will be fully integrated with Etihad Rail and will significantly enhance Khalifa Port’s connectivity and position as a key gateway for the region.

Saif Al Mazrouei, CEO, Ports Cluster, AD Ports Group, said: “We are making positive progress on the development of CMA Terminals Khalifa Port, which will be one of the most modern and innovative terminals in the region upon completion. Under the guidance of our wise leadership, we are incorporating sustainability principles into our construction plan, with the development of our first net zero administration building. Our design practice supports the UAE’s wider targets for building the circular economy, recycling construction and operational waste and using high recycled content materials.”

Yang Zhiyuan, CEO of CHEC Middle East Division, said: “We are proud to be selected for this flagship project, contributing to the development of what will be one of the most advanced terminals in the region. In particular, we will ensure that the design and construction of buildings and topside infrastructure will meet the highest architectural and sustainability standards.”

With fewer than 500 net zero commercial buildings in the world, AD Ports Group’s first net zero carbon building will represent a major milestone for the company and for the UAE. It will be one of the company’s first projects to use significant amounts of concrete with recycled content and save the equivalent of 38,721 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide over 30 years.

David Gatward, Chief Engineering & Technical Services Officer, AD Ports Group, explains: “With this project, we are looking to demonstrate that meaningful sustainability measures can be incorporated into the construction process with only a negligible increase in the budget. The long-term benefits of building the net zero carbon administration centre for CMA Terminals Khalifa Port will be significant and will create the opportunity for AD Ports Group to offer green business models for future tenants across our assets.”

AD Ports Group announced recently that it has acquired Noatum, a global integrated logistics platform with a presence in 26 countries and LTM revenue and EBITDA of Dhs6.91 billion and Dhs555 million, respectively.

The total purchase consideration (Enterprise Value) for 100 per cent ownership amounts to Dhs2.5 billion, implying an LTM EV/EBITDA of 4.6x. This value and earnings accretive acquisition, which significantly broadens AD Ports Group’s global footprint and positions it among the leading logistics and freight forwarding companies in the world, will be fully funded through a new acquisition loan.

Recognising Noatum’s high growth potential and capacity to scale, AD Ports Group intends to create a market-leading international logistics brand, merging its existing logistics business with Noatum to create a significant presence in the region and enhancing services across the company’s global footprint. Moving forward, Noatum will lead AD Ports Group’s Logistics Cluster, consolidating the company’s existing logistics offering into its operations.

This will be AD Ports Group’s third major international acquisition in 2022, following the acquisition of a 70 per cent equity stake in Transmar and TCI in September, and the announcement in November of its acquisition of an 80 per cent equity stake in Dubai-based Global Feeder Shipping (GFS).

Noatum, whose origins date back to 1963, operates in three business areas — Logistics, Maritime, and Port Terminals — with market-leading positions in Spain and Turkey and a significant presence in the US, UK, China, and Southeast Asia.

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