Emirates Steel, the leading integrated steel producer in the Middle East, and SAFEEN Group, the marine service arm of Abu Dhabi Ports, both part of ADQ, have announced the commencement of transshipment operations, as part of a 10-year agreement previously signed between the two parties in 2019.
As per the agreement, SAFEEN will work closely with Emirates Steel to provide short marine shipping services for three shipments of iron ore per month and will be responsible for the purchase, rental, delivery, operation and maintenance of cargo ships, trailers, and unloading equipment for the premier steel manufacturer.
Serving as the company’s latest venture into the transshipment business vertical, and as one of the largest active transshipment agreements (by volume) within the Arabian Gulf region, the contract will be delivered via a converted Post-Panamax bulk — the largest bulk commercial vessel ever registered under the UAE flag — along with three self-propelled and self-discharging barges, and a wide range of marine assets such as tugs and speed boats.
The four vessels will work closely together to discharge and transship cargo arriving from mother vessels, which will vary in size up to Newcastlemax class, and will then safely transport and discharge the raw materials from anchorage to Emirates Steel’s jetty in Musaffah.
Engineer Saeed Ghumran Al Remeithi, CEO of Emirates Steel, said: “This memorable moment demonstrates Emirates Steel drive for strategic alliances, especially within the context of our own commitment to supporting the cooperation between home-grown entities. We are confident that our collaboration with Abu Dhabi Ports will leverage the full capabilities of SAFEEN’s transshipment fleet. Through the launch of HAFEET, we have ensured the best logistical and shipping services to receive over 5 million tons of our raw materials (equivalent to 75-football pitches) in a yearly basis as efficiently and effectively as possible.
“I am very excited about Emirates Steel future developments and expansions plans, which will contribute to supporting the economy of Abu Dhabi, and I hope today’s significant milestone is only the first step towards more cooperation and synergy between Emirates Steel and Abu Dhabi Ports.”
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Group CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “Working in close collaboration with our valued partner Emirates Steel has enabled us to not only make certain that the start of our transshipment operation falls in line with their logistical requirements, but also ensures that SAFEEN’s first foray into this new vertical is a successful one and representative of the integrated and comprehensive capabilities offered by the wider Abu Dhabi Ports group.
“By combining the long-standing expertise of our marine service arm, along with the increased capacity of our newly retrofitted and ultra-modern transshipment fleet that is being led by M/V HAFEET, we can deliver a robust offering that will enhance the maritime and logistics activities of our customers and enable their business to reach new horizons.”
Following the acquisition of the Post Panamax bulk carrier back in April 2020, the vessel, which now operates under the name “HAFEET”, underwent major modifications and retrofits to meet Emirates Steel required transshipment standards. As part of its fit out, the vessel received four new and advanced cranes, dedicated grabs, a fully automated conveyor system, bow thrusters to increase manoeuvrability, as well as additional generators.
The three self-propelled barges attached the contract have also been modified specifically to meet the requirements of the operation. In addition to featuring self-discharging capabilities, the barges have been customised to easily transport iron ore cargo.