Etihad Rail and Stevin Rock signed an agreement to transport raw materials from Ras Al Khaimah, the northernmost emirate of the UAE, to Abu Dhabi. The contract was signed by Shadi Malak, the CEO of Etihad Rail and Naser Bustami, the General Manager of Stevin Rock.
This agreement is of considerable significance as the first in a series of commercial agreements for Stage Two of the UAE National Rail Network, which sees major organisations based in the UAE connected throughout the Emirates, via Etihad Rail’s national railway network, which stretches over 605 km from Al Ghuwaifat on the country’s border with Saudi Arabia in the west to the port of Fujairah on the eastern coast.
An estimated 3.5 million tonnes of raw materials will be carried annually from Stevin Rock’s Al Ghail quarry in Ras Al Khaimah to Abu Dhabi, through 500 annual train trips. Each train will measure one kilometre in length, hauling 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.
“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. As a primary company that has signed an agreement with us, they [Stevin Rock] will benefit from the integrated transport solutions Stage Two of the project provides upon completion” Shadi Malak said.
The company will benefit interconnectivity established by the Etihad Rail within the Emirates transporting Stevin Rock’s products from Ras Al Khaimah to Abu Dhabi’s logistics hub, the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD).
“Etihad Rail 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,” Naser Bustami said.
Stevin Rock is one of the largest quarrying companies in the world, with a production capacity of over 80 million tonnes per year of limestone, dolomite and gabbro from three quarries. The company has been operating in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah since 1978, providing the highest quality materials and services to the construction, cement, steel, mining, glass and chemical industries in the GCC region and beyond. Through using the UAE’s National Rail Network to transport raw materials, Stevin Rock will benefit enhanced operational efficiency, improved delivery, and an expanded regional supply chain, while reducing greatly the company’s carbon footprint.
Etihad Rail began construction works on the Al Ghail facility, which is part of the freight facilities series the company is developing, in 2020 with the aim of providing transportation services from the quarries of Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah to the rest of the UAE. The Al Ghail facility will play a significant role in linking the UAE’s rail network with quarries in Al Siji, Masafi, and Al Taween, enhancing transport of gabbro rock from Fujairah to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, reducing hundreds of conventional road-based truck trips.