His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE supreme council member and ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, was present at the signing of an agreement between Etihad Rail, the developer of the UAE?s National Rail Network, and Ras Al Khaimah?s Stevin Rock, one of the largest quarrying companies in the world, for the transport of raw materials from Ras Al Khaimah to Abu Dhabi
The agreement is the first in a series of commercial agreements for Stage Two of the UAE National Rail Network, which will see major organisations based in the UAE connected throughout the Emirates, via Etihad Rail?s highly anticipated national railway network which stretches more than 605 km from Al Ghuwaifat on the UAE?s border with Saudi Arabia in the west to the port of Fujairah on the eastern coast.
An estimated 3.5mn tonnes of construction material will be carried annually from Stevin Rock?s Al Ghail quarry in Ras Al Khaimah to Abu Dhabi, across 500 annual train trips. Each train will measure one kilometre in length and will haul 70 wagons that will have a carrying capacity of 7,000 tonnes per journey. The agreement will have significant environmental benefits, with an annual reduction of 100,000 truck trips.
Commenting on this partnership, Shadi Malak, CEO of Etihad Rail, said, ?Following the directives of His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court and chairman of Etihad Rail, our company inhabits a pivotal role in the logistics, infrastructure, and transport sectors across the UAE, to support and enhance our customers? business models and competitiveness. By connecting with quarries in the Northern Emirates, Etihad Rail will ensure faster and more cost-effective delivery of construction materials, which in turn, we continue to deliver on our commitment to contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions by decreasing truck movement on the roads, supporting our overall ethos of a sustainable future and the UAE?s wider sustainability targets.?
?Stevin Rock is one of the largest companies in the global quarrying sector. As a primary company that has signed an agreement with us, they will benefit from the integrated transport solutions Stage Two of the project provides upon completion. Stevin Rock will be one of the first to witness the benefits associated with the interconnectivity that Etihad Rail will establish within the Emirates, transporting their products from Ras Al Khaimah to Abu Dhabi?s logistics hub, the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD), in addition to the benefits corresponding with the future planned wider GCC network, which will offer new business opportunities to enhance operations and business models of potential customers,? Malak added.
Naser Bustami, general manager of Stevin Rock, added, ?We are proud and happy to have reached an agreement with Etihad Rail that will provide a sustainable alternative to road transport, contributing significantly to Stevin Rock?s continuous efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. Moreover, rail transport will allow us to be more competitive on pricing our products in Abu Dhabi.?
?The national rail network will mark a milestone in the development and prosperity of Ras Al Khaimah and the entire UAE, playing an active role in advancing sustainable development across the country,? Bustami concluded.
The agreement between the two entities was signed by Shadi Malak and Naser Bustami and was witnessed in the presence of several executives and officials from both organisations.