International logistics service provider Newport Tank Contai

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 19 July, 2014: Etihad Rail , the developer and operator of the UAE's national railway, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NewPort Tank Containers, a leading global tank container operator with substantial operations in all major trade lanes.

The agreement, signed by Eng. Faris Saif Al Mazrouei, Acting CEO of Etihad Rail , and Pim van den Doel, General Manager Middle East & India of NewPort Tank Containers, will allow NewPort to adopt rail as a transport solution for its shipping and logistics services in the region. The MoU represents yet another successful partnership with an organisation that recognises rail as the preferred means of cargo transport in the MENA region.

" Etihad Rail is committed to supporting business and economic growth in the region," commented Eng. Faris Saif Al Mazrouei. "The national railway network will enhance our country's reputation as a logistics hub. We look forward to facilitating the safe, efficient and cost-effective delivery of NewPort's shipping services in the UAE and adjoining regions."

NewPort is a global, bulk liquid, logistics platform which specialises in tank container transport.

"NewPort is expanding its global operations," said Pim van den Doel. "We have established a strong presence in the Middle East and appreciate the importance of intermodal transport for further growth in the region."

"Rail transport is ideal for handling materials in bulk quantities, and allows us to enhance our service efficiency in the region. The Etihad Rail network will play an important role in helping us provide our customers with a complete package of superior logistics and cost efficient services," added Pim van den Doel.

Upon completion, the Etihad Rail will cater to both freight and passengers, spanning approximately 1,200 kilometres across the UAE. The rail network will connect urban and peripheral communities, facilitate trade, open up communication channels and foster economic development across all seven emirates. The network will also form a vital part of the GCC railway network, linking the UAE to Saudi Arabia via Ghweifat in the west and to Oman via Al Ain in the east.

About Etihad Rail

Etihad Rail was established in June 2009 under Federal Law no. 2, with a mandate to manage the development, construction and operation of the UAE's national freight and passenger railway network. Being built in three stages, the railway network will link the principal centres of population and industry of the UAE, and will form a vital part of the planned GCC railway network across the six countries of the GCC.

Construction on Stage One is well underway, with services between Habshan and Ruwais already operational on a testing basis since September 2013, and the sleeper factory in Mirfa fully functional. Tendering is in progress for Stage Two, which will connect the railway to Mussafah, Khalifa and Jebel Ali ports and will see the railway extend to the Saudi and Omani borders.

To date, Etihad Rail has signed more than 20 Memorandums of Understanding with a number of customers throughout the Emirates - in industries ranging from petrochemicals and agriculture to aggregates and waste - all of whom recognise rail as the preferred mode of transport for their goods.

Built to international standards, Etihad Rail 's state-of-the-art network will span approximately 1,200 km, acting as a catalyst for economic growth and sustained social development. Upon completion, the railway will redefine logistics and transport in the region, providing a modern, safe, efficient and sustainable mode of transport that will connect all regions of the UAE to its neighbouring GCC countries.