Trial operations for Stage One of Etihad Rail have begun.
The news comes following the announcement that the network has been used to transport more than two-million tonnes of sulphur during the past 12 months on behalf of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).
Trials conducted by Etihad Rail’s operating partner, ERDB, “are now running on a daily basis”.
Faris Saif Al Mazrouei, CEO of Etihad Rail, said: “Transporting more than two-million tonnes of sulphur in the past year during our testing and commissioning and trail operations phases is a very proud achievement for Etihad Rail, our operating partner, ERDB, and the UAE as a whole, as it clearly demonstrates Etihad Rail’s unique value proposition as a reliable, safe, and environmentally friendly mode of transport.
“Our success to date would not have been possible without the tremendous support of our customer and partner, ADNOC. Going forward, we will continue to build on this success as we move towards our target of transporting more than seven-million tonnes of sulphur every year once we enter into full commercial operations,” he added.
Trials have been running on a daily basis since the completion of the 264km Stage One route last year. Full commercial operations are expected to start shortly, once Etihad Rail is granted its regulatory approvals. In turn, the volume of sulphur transported by rail is likely to increase significantly from 2016 onwards.
The sulphur-related figures offer insight into the significant economic and environmental benefits that the federal railway network will bring to the UAE, according to Etihad Rail. Its trains have replaced more than 66,000 truck trips from the western region of Abu Dhabi during the past 12 months.
The Etihad Rail project is being delivered across three stages of development. It will be used to transport bulk and non-bulk materials, with routes designed to accommodate all key customer sectors and freight facilities positioned to connect production hubs with points of import and export.
Upon completion, the network will span approximately 1,200km across the UAE, connecting urban and peripheral communities. Etihad Rail will also form part of the GCC Railway network, linking the Emirates to Saudi Arabia through Ghweifat in the west, and Oman through Al Ain in the east.
Source : arabianindustry.com