UAE rail network signs strategic MoU with leading crushing business
Abu Dhabi, UAE, 29th April 2015
Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway network, has been selected as the preferred means of bulk transport by Gulf Rock Engineering Group, (“Gulf Rock”) a leading rock drilling, blasting and excavation contractor in the GCC.
The two companies have recently formed an agreement to transport 2.5 million tonnes of crushed sand and crushed aggregate annually for Gulf Rock. Signed by Faris Saif Al Mazrouei, CEO of Etihad Rail and Jonathan Cottam, Managing Director at Gulf Rock, the Memorandum of Understanding will allow the crushing business to improve its distribution operations by significantly reducing transport costs and timescales.
Established in 1975 as a blasting specialist sub-contractor, the Gulf Rock Engineering Group owns and operates an integrated limestone crusher at Tawyeen in Fujairah from where it currently delivers its product to various customers using three axle trucks. Once commercial operations for Stage Three are launched, the railway’s freight trains will carry aggregate and sand from an Etihad Rail loading terminal in Tawyeen either directly to Gulf Rock customer locations within the UAE or to distribution terminals at the ports for export within the wider region.
“The UAE’s national rail network is being built to deliver faster, more reliable, more economic and higher capacity distribution services to companies across the emirates and the GCC,” said Faris Saif Al Mazrouei, CEO of Etihad Rail. “We are committed to facilitating the outbound product delivery for Gulf Rock, including the provision of storage facilities at Etihad Rail loading and distribution terminals.”
Jonathan Cottam, Managing Director of the Gulf Rock Engineering Group, added: “Using rail transport will allow us to serve our customers better by delivering bulk aggregate to them faster than ever before, while at the same time significantly cutting our transport costs. Once the Stage three railway section is operational, Etihad Rail will transport approximately 50 per cent of our total annual business volume.”
The national rail project will be used to carry bulk and non-bulk materials, offering tailor-made solutions to satisfy the different transport requirements of the various local, regional and international customers it will work with across the UAE. Network routes have been designed to accommodate all key customer sectors, with stations positioned to connect production hubs with points of import and export.
Upon completion, the Etihad Rail network will span approximately 1,200 kilometres across the UAE, transporting both freight and passengers. It will connect urban and peripheral communities, facilitate trade, open up communication channels and foster economic development across all Emirates in the UAE. The network will also form a vital part of the GCC Railway Network, linking the UAE to Saudi Arabia through Ghweifat in the west and Oman through Al Ain in the east.
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Notes to the editors:
About Etihad Rail
Etihad Rail was established in June 2009 under Federal Law no. 2, with a mandate to manage the development, construction and operation of the UAE’s national freight and passenger railway network. Being built in three stages, the railway network will link the principal centres of population and industry of the UAE, and will form a vital part of the planned GCC railway network across the six countries of the GCC.
Construction on Stage One has been completed, with services between Habshan and Ruwais already operational on a testing basis. Stage Two will connect the railway to Mussafah, Khalifa Port and Jebel Ali port and will see the railway extend to the Saudi and Omani borders.
Etihad Rail has recently signed an Operational & Maintenance Agreement with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) for the transport of sulphur between Habshan and Shah to Ruwais. Etihad Rail is also in advanced commercial and technical negotiations with other prospective partners, including DP World, ESI, Arkan, and others.
To date, Etihad Rail has signed more than 54 Memorandums of Understanding with a number of customers throughout the Emirates – in industries ranging from petrochemicals and agriculture to aggregates and waste – all of whom recognise rail as the preferred mode of transport for their goods.
Built to international standards, Etihad Rail’s state-of-the-art network will span approximately 1,200 km, acting as a catalyst for economic growth and sustained social development. Upon completion, the railway will redefine logistics and transport in the region, providing a modern, safe, efficient and sustainable mode of transport that will connect all regions of the UAE to its neighbouring GCC countries.
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