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Abu Dhabi Ports Company appoints Tony Douglas new chief executive

Former Laing O’Rourke chief operating officer Tony Doulgas has been named as new chief executive of the Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC).

Douglas is a previous chief executive of Heathrow, one of the world’s leading airports.

He will steer the development of ADPC’s extensive portfolio of projects, including the flagship Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone (KPIZ).

Douglas said he was thrilled to have landed the role.

“I am thrilled to be joining Abu Dhabi Ports Company at this time with the company taking center stage in the diversification of Abu Dhabi’s economy, and there are exciting times ahead. Our remit is broad – from managing ports throughout the emirate, supporting partners with their infrastructure projects, ensuring trade is encouraged to creating one of the world’s largest concentrations of industry and business at the Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone,” he said.

Located midway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the Taweelah industrial district, KPIZ will begin operations in 2012 and over the long term to 2030 will comprise 417 square kilometers of prime industrial land organized into vertically integrated clusters for  aluminium, petrochemicals, glass, paper and other major sectors.  It will consist of a new, world-class multi-purpose offshore port and one of the largest integrated industrial zones in the world. 

“Big projects require a heavy dose of the basics and they need it on a regular basis.”

Tony Douglas

The new port will have an initial capacity of 2 million TEUs (Twenty Foot Equivalent Units), of containers and 9 million tons of general cargo. The dedicated EMAL berth will be operational later this year. When all phases of Khalifa Port are completed, it will have a capacity of 15 million TEU’s of containers and 35 million tons of general cargo.

“This project alone is key given the creation of new port capacity and the building of an environment for business to thrive. KPIZ is world class and world scale. With over 400 square kilometres of land available for development it is larger than many cities. It is set to become a major trade and business hub and will contribute greatly to the development of the emirate and the UAE’s economy,” Douglas added.

The first dedicated berth for Emirates Aluminium will be operational later this year and when all phases of Khalifa Port are completed, capacity will rise to 15M TEU’s of containers and 35 million tons of general cargo.

The port is expected to pave the way for a series of new industrial development clusters around industries such as aluminium, steel and polymers.

Douglas, who before joining Laing O’Rourke, led the £5bn Heathrow Airport terminal Five project, said he was “absolutely delighted” to be joining this team in Abu Dhabi, and said that he had been spending around two days a week for the last four months getting up to speed with the project.

“The team is not doing an awful lot wrong right now,” he explained pointing out that Bechtel is project managing the job and a huge number of local and international contractors are already on board. More contracts will be let over the coming months, he said.

“The next phase will see an increase in scale and complexity and as we saw on Heathrow T5, you need to have single focus on what has to be done, by when and it needs to be driven hard,” he said. “Big projects require a heavy dose of the basics and they need it on a regular basis.”

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