UAE national rail developer and operator, Etihad Rail has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with DP World to build an intermodal rail terminal at Jebel Ali Port.
The port operator has already finalised the location for the rail terminal and it will be built adjacent to Jebel Ali Maritime Terminal 1 and close to Terminal 2.
As part of the MoU, DP World will be responsible for building, as well as loading and unloading facilities at the rail terminal. Etihad Rail will construct and own the railway infrastructure, on top of managing the rail services at the terminal.
Etihad Rail chairman HE Nasser Al Sowaidi said this is a key milestone in securing Jebel Ali Port as an integral part of the Etihad Rail network and represents a significant step forward in the network's overall development.
"Our collaboration with them in creating an intermodal rail terminal inside Jebel Ali Port will enable the efficient transfer of containerised freight from ocean vessels onto the rail network and vice versa, ultimately driving the economic growth of the UAE, while being closely aligned with the UAE Vision 2021 and Abu Dhabi Vision 2030."
Construction of the intermodal rail terminal will also help in reduction of truck traffic at the port terminal and on the roads surrounding Jebel Ali port.
Each of the Etihad Rail trains will have the capacity to carry up to 260 twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) of containers. If the same number of containers were carried by truck, it would require at least 130 vehicles.
Jebel Ali intermodal rail terminal is expected to handle 5 million TEU of containers a year by 2030.
DP World Chairman HE Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said the rail terminal and the Etihad Rail network as a whole will improve the efficiency at the flagship Jebel Ali port.
"This will add enormously to the efficiency of the supply chain and reinforce Dubai's status as both a regional hub and a gateway for cargo for the UAE and the wider Middle East, Subcontinent and East Africa region," Sulayem said.
Etihad rail is building 1,200km rail project at a cost of Dh40bn ($10bn) to transport cargo and carry nearly 16 million passengers a year.
Image: The intermodal rail terminal will be built adjacent to Jebel Ali Maritime Terminal 1 and close to Terminal 2. Photo: courtesy of Imre Solt.