What have been your main accomplishments and milestones in the last 12 months?
The past 12 months have been transformational for Abu Dhabi Ports as it continues to roll out its long-term growth strategy. In December 2018, we inaugurated CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal, a semi-automated, deepwater container terminal at Khalifa Port, operated by COSCO SHIPPING Ports (CSP), under a concession agreement for 35 years. After only one year in operation, the terminal has shifted from its trial operation phase to being fully operational, which is a great achievement indeed. In fact, it has moved over 400,000 TEUs in seven months. CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal includes the largest container freight station in the Middle East and connects Abu Dhabi to CSP's global portfolio of 37 ports. Total CAPEX spent on CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal is approximately USD300 million. We also announced a major AED4-billion expansion at Khalifa Port, which includes the development of a new South Quay and Khalifa Port Logistics, alongside an expansion of Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT). We have gone from strength to strength across all our assets in 2019. Notably, as of November 2019, we handled over 20 million tons of general cargo across all ports, surpassing the 19.7 million tons we handled in 2018. Over the same period, Khalifa Port handled 2.5 million TEUs, a significant increase over the 1.7 million TEUs the port handled in 2018. It was also an exciting year for our maritime technology business, Maqta Gateway. The subsidiary was founded to make trade processes simpler and more efficient through digital solutions, and plays a central role in driving Abu Dhabi Ports' technology partnerships and investments. Maqta Gateway has also been testing an international blockchain solution with MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company called SILSAL, which aims to provide a seamless and secure link between stakeholders across the trading community. Finally, earlier in 2019, we were pleased to be recognized for our investment in our people, when we became the first organization in the Middle East to receive the IIP Platinum Accreditation, the highest accolade attainable through Investors in People (IIP), an international standard for people management. We are proud to be recognized for having a supportive working environment where employees are seen as a catalyst for innovation and profitability.
Can you walk us through Abu Dhabi Ports' strategy for increasing its connectivity with other international ports and maritime hubs?
Our global strategy focuses on the following three key priorities: securing partnerships with some of the world's largest shipping companies and port operators; expanding capacity and interconnectivity between our facilities through investments in infrastructure; and investing in the latest technology to better connect with partner entities and customers. For example, in addition to the long-term concession agreements with ADT, CSP, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, and Autoterminal Barcelona, we have a 35-year concession agreement to operate the Fujairah Port through which we are investing more than AED1 billion on the rejuvenation of the port's infrastructure. Our concession model provides an opportunity to establish and operate regional hubs to transport goods from Asia through to Africa and Europe and back, and along the Belt and Road maritime route. Abu Dhabi Ports is an ideal partner for this purpose, offering investors unprecedented access to local and global markets through advanced transport connectivity, an ecosystem that is backed by purpose-built infrastructure, efficient investor support services, and low operational costs. In return, our partners connect Abu Dhabi to an ever-growing international network of ports across China, Southeast Asia, the Mediterranean, and the Black Sea. This global network feeds directly into KIZAD, which has already attracted more than 500 investors and more than AED70 billion in investment across multiple sectors. We're looking to sustain this upward trajectory with ongoing infrastructure investment.