Abu Dhabi – Chinese and UAE investors have broken ground on a car and truck tire plant in Abu Dhabi, slated to start production by the fourth quarter of 2020.
The project, known as the Roadbot Tire Project KIZAD, is valued at $614 million (€538 million), according to a 22 Jan statement by the Khalifa Industrial Zone (KIZAD).
Passenger car tire production will initially start at 3 million units/year, ramping up to 10 million units by 2022. The plant will also have production capacity of 1 million truck/bus radials a year.
The Chinese partner is identified as "Roadbot," but KIZAD has not provided any background on the company other than to describe it as a Chinese tire manufacturer.
The Roadbot project was launched last year during a visit of Chinese premier Xi Jinping to the UAE.
The company's chairperson Zhang Yingzi attended the ground-breaking ceremony last week in Abu Dhabi's KIZAD China-UAE industrial zone.
Roadbot becomes the first Chinese firm to set up in the KIZAD Zone since Jiangsu Provincial Overseas Cooperation & Investment Co. (JOCIC) and Abu Dhabi Ports signed a 50-year development agreement in 2017.
"The Roadbot Abu Dhabi tire project is… part of the 'belt and road initiative',” said Zhang during the groundbreaking ceremony.
According to Abu Dhabi Ports, the factory will be an "intelligent, fully automated and eco-friendly" plant.
The tire factory, said UAE minister of state Sultan Al Jaber, is part of the country’s strategy to diversify economy and develop its manufacturing base.
"Today's groundbreaking also demonstrates the increasingly close ties between the UAE and China,” he added.