ETIHAD Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway network, has signed key agreements with three quarrying companies that will use the network for the distribution of their products in a bid to cut costs and transit time.
These include Western Bainoona Group (WBG), Tarmac Middle East and Al Jaber Crushers and Quarries.
WBG is to use the rail for the distribution of its products from its crusher location at Tawyeen to the Etihad Rail distribution and export terminals in the UAE. The approximate annualised transport by rail volume is set to rise to 10 million tonnes by 2020.
Al Jaber Crushers and Quarries – which is a subsidiary of Al Jaber Group – has signed a similar memorandum of understanding (MoU) to utilise rail transport for its logistics operations, cutting cost and time effectively.
By 2019, Al Jaber Crushers and Quarries expects to transport its various products including stone, sand and other aggregated material from its loading station at Shawkah in Ras Al Khaimah to offloading stations at Port Saqr, Jebel Ali in Dubai, Abu Dhabi Industrial City and Al Ruwais in Abu Dhabi as well as Al Ain.
The third agreement was signed with Tarmac Middle East, one of the largest and leading suppliers of aggregates and asphalt in the region.
Under the deal, the company will utilise rail operations for the distribution of its products from its local arm, Al Futtaim Tarmac Quarry Product Company – also located at Shawkah – to Etihad Rail’s distribution and export terminals across the UAE. This is also expected to help decrease operating cost and enhance transit times, and additionally, enable the distribution to other GCC countries once Etihad Rail completes its connection to the mainline GCC rail network at the end of 2018.
Tarmac Middle East expects that it will transport six million tonnes of its products via Etihad Rail by 2020.
Once fully operational, Etihad Rail will cater to both freight and passengers, spanning approximately 1,200 km across the UAE.