UAE Focus

UAE rail work begins

February 2012

ETIHAD Rail, the state company building the first cargo train line in the UAE, has begun construction on the first segment of the Dh40-billion ($11 billion) project.

The company is in talks with quarry owners about contracts to ship as much as 32 million tonnes of rock a year by 2030, Graeme Overall, the company’s director for business development, said. Etihad Rail aims to expand its network across the nation by that date.

It is seeking new customers, in addition to state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), for which it will begin shipping seven million tonnes of granulated sulphur a year in 2014.

The first link between Ruwais, an oil port and industrial city off Abu Dhabi’s coast, and Habshan, where Adnoc has production and processing facilities, will start operation in 2013. An extension to Shah, about 266 km from the coast, will follow a year later.

The UAE government last month authorised Etihad Rail to borrow Dh4.7 billion ($1.28 billion) from banks and other financial companies, the official WAM news agency reported.

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