The mega hub will support industrial complexes that make low-carbon products for both local and seaborne steelmaking markets.
As part of the agreement, land and related services from AD Ports subsidiary Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi (Kezad) will be allocated for the mega hub.
A new facility at Khalifa Port will also be developed, which will accommodate Valemax vessels with a maximum annual cargo handling capacity of 50 million tonnes.
AD Ports will also be responsible for the development and management of conveyor infrastructure to move iron ore and finished products between Khalifa Port and Kezad.
It will also assess commercial partnerships with the Brazilian miner to market and sell by-products from the manufacturing process across the UAE and the broader region.
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AD Ports Group managing director and CEO Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi said: “The UAE is committed to not only finding ways to reduce carbon emissions but also to support all efforts aimed at positively affecting the global environment. This signing with Vale represents our commitment to the sustainability objectives as set out by the visionary leadership of the UAE.
“Growth and sustainability must go hand in hand; our collaboration with Vale signifies a key step in our contribution towards meeting the UAE Net Zero 2050 strategic initiative.”
There is also scope for maritime partnership within the agreement, to search for new opportunities to manage and operate very large ore carriers (VLOCs), along with possible collaborative channels.
Vale CEO Eduardo Bartolomeo said: “We are encouraged by this opportunity to build a mega hub in the UAE, a country that is strategically positioned to positively influence our drive to significantly reduce CO₂ emissions around the globe.
“Our ability to leverage this new concept of using low-carbon technology in the production of hot-briquetted iron signals the success of our products globally.”
The new hub supports Vale’s 2035 target to reduce 15% of its net scope 3 emissions.
The miner also plans to reach net zero by 2050 and attain a 33% reduction in its absolute scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.