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DP World continues to consolidate its position as the leading port operator in the Middle East with further investment in its Port Rashid and Jebel Ali Port facilities. The most recent equipment order includes two separate orders for a total of 23 Kalmar empty container handlers (ECHs) capable of stacking 8ft 6in containers eight high.

A long-time user of Kalmar ECHs, DP World has, in recent years, taken delivery of between five and ten units annually. This year, Kalmar has already delivered seven units to DP World. Delivery of the latest 23 ECHs is due for completion by early 2006.

Meanwhile, delivery of the 26 PT122 terminal tractors will take place in the first quarter of 2006. Ten years on from the commissioning of its first terminal tractor in 1995, DP World now has hundreds of units in use.

A longstanding Kalmar partner, DP World operates more than 40 of the manufacturer straddle carriers at Port Rashid. At Jeddah and Djibouti DP World operates Kalmar rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGs), while at Jebel Ali it has retrofitted dozens of RTGs with Kalmar's patented Smartrail autosteering and container position verification system.

Situated 25km south of Dubai, Jebel Ali is the largest duty free port in the Middle East. DP World has recently completed the massive Phase I expansion of Jebel Ali Port, which began in 2002 with the dredging and widening of the approach channel. It also involved the development of five additional berths equipped with super post-Panamax quayside cranes and the construction of deepwater quay walls, bringing total capacity to 5.7 million TEU.

In 2004, Dubai Ports, combining Jebel Ali Port and Port Rashid, reported a 20 per cent growth in container traffic, making it the tenth busiest container port in the world with a total of 6.42 million TEU handled.

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