AD Ports, CMA CGM, and Ecocean to breathe new life into Khalifa Port
UAE-based port operator AD Ports Group has teamed up with French shipping major CMA CGM Group and Ecocean, an innovative company serving aquatic biodiversity, on a scientific cooperation journey.
The alliance aims to breathe new life into Khalifa Port through the installation of 48 Biohuts, creating a thriving ecosystem beneath the waves.
These Biohut modules are not just any underwater structures; they are designed to be safe havens for marine life, promoting biodiversity in coastal and harbor areas. Crafted from eco-friendly, non-toxic materials, these modular cages offer a sturdy refuge for various marine species, from fish to crustaceans, essential for rejuvenating coastal ecosystems damaged by human activities.
These structures will be deployed in specific areas of Khalifa Port, where marine life needs support and regeneration. Scheduled for installation in Q1 2024 at CMA CGM’s upcoming terminal, this five-year pilot project includes a comprehensive monitoring phase.
This initiative represents the long-term commitment of both AD Ports Group and CMA CGM Group to marine and terrestrial biodiversity. Their strategy revolves around reducing the impact of human activities, restoring fragile ecosystems, protecting endangered species, and fostering research and innovation.
“We understand that the infrastructure we develop serves our economy, industry, and community. Simultaneously, maintaining biodiversity is crucial for life-sustaining processes. At AD Ports Group ETS, we design with sustainability in mind and retrofit existing structures to ensure a sustainable legacy for the local community,” David Gatward, Chief Engineering & Technical Services Officer at AD Ports Group, said.
“It’s vital to adapt our infrastructure to enhance environmental conditions while consciously designing new projects with sustainability as a primary consideration.”
CMA CGM Group, aware of its environmental responsibility, has refrained from carrying any plastic waste on its ships since 2022. The shipping routes of their container ships have been redesigned to consider cetacean breeding and migration areas, demonstrating a dedication to minimizing their environmental footprint.
CMA CGM Group has also long been involved in biodiversity protection and restoration projects around the world, particularly in the Middle East.
“Preserving biodiversity is part of CMA CGM “Acting for Planet” pillar, at the heart of the Group’s sustainability commitments. We have been working for years with experts to better understand the mechanisms of its preservation and support protection and restoration projects which contribute to reducing human activities environmental footprint,” Félix de Carpentier, Group Vice President – Sustainability, CMA CGM, said.
“Given the scale of the challenge, we strongly believe that ‘getting on board’ with our partners will speed up our action, and we’re delighted with this first example of collaboration with Ecocean in Abu Dhabi, which we hope to replicate in other countries.”
“Healthy ecosystems rich in biodiversity not only benefit human health, but also positively impact the economy. By installing biohuts at Khalifa Port, we aim to mitigate the environmental effects of construction. This reflects our commitment to environmental stewardship and our focus on innovation to foster environments where natural flora and fauna can prosper,” Ahmad Al Khayat, Acting Senior Vice President – Innovation, AD Ports Group, said.
Khalifa Port, AD Ports Group’s flagship deep-water port, is a multi-purpose, semi-automated port strategically located between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Ranked 3rd globally on the 2022 Container Port Performance Index, it handles various types of cargo, providing links to over 90 international destinations and serves 25 major shipping lines. Khalifa Port is home to world-class terminals, including CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal, Autoterminal Khalifa Port, CMA Terminal and Abu Dhabi Terminals.