Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Etihad Rail, the state company building the first cargo train line in the United Arab Emirates, has begun construction on the first segment of the 40 billion- dirham ($11 billion) project.
The company is in talks with quarry owners about contracts to ship as much as 32 million metric tons of rock a year by 2030, Graeme Overall, the company’s director for business development, said at a conference in Dubai today. Etihad Rail aims to expand its network across the nation by that date.
Etihad Rail is seeking new customers, in addition to state- run Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., for which it will begin shipping 7 million tons of granulated sulfur a year in 2014, he said. The first link between Ruwais, an oil port and industrial city on Abu Dhabi’s Persian Gulf coast, and Habshan, where Adnoc has production and processing facilities, will start operation in 2013, Overall said. An extension to Shah, about 266 kilometers (165 miles) from the coast, will follow a year later.
The U.A.E. government last month authorized Etihad Rail to borrow 4.7 billion dirhams from banks and other financial companies, the official WAM news agency reported Jan. 22.
--Editors: Rob Verdonck, John Buckley
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