Abu Dhabi's $410m Mussafah Channel completed

53km-long Mussafah Channel project officially handed over to ADPC

The new channel serves the Mussafah Industrial Zone.
The new channel serves the Mussafah Industrial Zone.

The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) has completed construction of the $410million, 53km-long Mussafah Channel project, and handed it over to the Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC).

UPC commissioned the construction of the new Mussafah Channel to provide a safe navigation access channel with increased air draft (water depth) to service the Mussafah Industrial Zone and future ICAD areas.

The new channel required dredging a volume of 65 million cubic metres. The minimum depth is 9m at lowest astronomical tide, and the minimum width is 200m. The channel dimensions allow for two-way vessel traffic of large Panamax type bulk carriers.

The completed project was handed over by the UPC to ADPC for operational use at a ceremony attended by Abu Dhabi government officials, VIPs, invited guests and member of the press.

The Mussafah Channel is located just off the south-western shoreline of Hudayriat Island, immediately to the west of the Mussafah Industrial Area, and leads to the open sea.

The project has now replaced the existing access channel to Mussafah Industrial Area, and smaller ships only will be using the ‘old’ channel in the near future.

“The completion of the Mussafah Channel project is a major milestone in the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 implementation process, as the government continues to invest in vital infrastructure enhancement projects designed to support the growth of our Emirate’s economic development,” said UPC GM HE Falah Al Ahbabi.

“The increased depth of the new channel will provide greater economic opportunities to the existing Mussafah Industrial Zone by allowing a significant expansion of operations and penetration into the global markets, which will in turn have a positive impact on Abu Dhabi’s economy,” said Al Ahbabi.

The UPC engaged National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC) to undertake the dredging works. NMDC utilised up to seven of its heavy-duty cutter suction dredgers (HDCSD) and two trailing suction hopper dredgers (TSHD) to meet the high production rates required to complete the works.

“The new channel is certain to make a big difference to the competitiveness of industry in Abu Dhabi, facilitating imports and exports. It will play a large part in our portfolio of commercial operations, which includes Mina Zayed, as well as Khalifa Port, phase one of which will open in Q4 2012,” said ADPC CEO Tony Douglas.

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