DP World announced today (April 07) that it has successfully completed the largest dredging programme at its flagship Jebel Ali Port in 10 years, allowing the port to handle more big vessels at the same time by deepening the draught.
The dredging added to the expansion work currently underway, adding 1 million TEU of new capacity to Container Terminal 2 later this year and another 4 million TEU capacity Container Terminal 3 by 2014, once completed, will enable Jebel Ali Port to handle up to 10 of the next generation 18,000 TEU (twenty foot equivalent container units) mega vessels at the same time – the only port in the region able to do so.
In total, 477,000 cubic metres of soil have been dredged from 2900 metres of quay wall at the roll-on roll-off (roro) vehicle carrier terminal, the tanker terminal and three container berths. The dredging deepened the draught of the roro and tanker berths from -10.5 to -11.5 metres while container berths 14, 16 and 17 were extended from -14 to -16 metres.
H.E. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman, DP World, said: “As the trade gateway for the United Arab Emirates, Middle East and the wider region, the capabilities of Jebel Ali are always reviewed to make sure they are in line with customers’ needs. As more of our customers add larger vessels to their fleets, we have responded by deepening the berths to increase our efficiency as a key link in one of the busiest supply chains in the world.”
Yasser Zaghloul, Chief Executive Officer, National Marine Dredging Company, Abu Dhabi, said: “We are delighted to work in partnership with DP World on this significant project which boosts the port infrastructure and facilities and enhances trade flow into Dubai, the Middle East and the wider region.”
Mohammed Al Muallem, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, DP World, UAE Region, said: “In response to customer demand, this project will enable Jebel Ali to meet their needs to handle more of the larger ships, providing the efficient and cost effective services they have come to rely on. Today, Jebel Ali Port is handling each week an average of three ultra-large container ships (ULCS) with a capacity of 14,000 TEU and above and we believe that number will increase steadily in the coming years.”
DP World worked with regulators in Dubai to comply with the relevant environmental legislation for the dredging project. Compliance measures included a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) carried out before the dredging works began.
The EIA assessed existing water quality, harbour sediments, air quality, terrestrial and marine ecology, noise levels, and hydrodynamic modeling. From these investigations, it was determined that the impact on the environment was short term and minor in nature including localised reduction of water quality within the harbour. Among the positive benefits noted by the authorities were that sediments from the harbour floor identified for removal could be re-used in the ongoing reclamation of Jebel Ali Island to the North of Container Terminal 2 providing that the engineering quality of the soil was up to standard.
Jebel Ali Port's Container Terminals are equipped with 22 berths and 78 cranes to cater to the world’s largest container vessels. With its 17 metre draught it can accommodate ships of any size. In January, DP World celebrated the maiden visit of the world’s largest containership, the 16,020 TEU CMA CGM Marco Polo, owned by the CMA CGM Group.
Earlier this year, DP World achieved a milestone in its history when its Dubai ports handled the 100 millionth container in ten years. Both Mina Rashid and Jebel Ali Port have handled 135 million TEU since the opening of Jebel Ali Port in 1979, around 75% of it (100 million TEU) was achieved between January 2003 and January 2013.