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OMAN PORT DEVELOPMENTS GATHER MOMENTUM

There have been a number of notable developments affecting Oman’s port sector in recent weeks. Sohar Port and Free Zone has, for example, announced that it is looking to lease out its deepwater Terminal 2D facility. The primary target markets are customers engaged in the metals or logistics sectors, but it could also be used as a terminal for bulk aggregates, cement or foodstuffs, the port states.

With its own waterfront access, Terminal 2D covers an area of around 750,000 m2 and is well connected to adjacent industrial clusters. The site was initially developed in 2009 as a potential location for container terminal expansion but the port is now looking to find tenants active in other areas of the shipping and transportation business.

Plans to develop an LNG bunkering facility in Sohar have also taken an important step forward with the award of a major design and engineering contract to McDermott International by Total Oman and Oman Oil Company. This project is intended to establish Oman as a regional LNG bunkering hub capable of supplying LNG as a fuel to marine vessels.

Meanwhile the Port of Duqm and Den Hartogh Logistics, a leading liquid cargo logistics service provider for chemical, gas, polymer and other liquid bulk products, are forging an alliance to strengthen the Omani port’s capabilities in those segments of the market.

Duqm Port has committed to taking steps to facilitate Den Hartogh importing and exporting liquid chemicals in intermodal ISO tank containers through the port’s container terminal. This is expected to represent a significant enhancement in the port’s ability to cater for the needs of the liquid bulk logistics sector.

Salalah Free Zone (SFZ) has signed an agreement for the construction of a new 150,000 barrels per day Salalah refinery, representing a total investment of around US$2.5 million. The building of the refinery is expected to have a big impact on liquid bulk cargo movements through the port. The deal continues a very successful first seven months of the year for Salalah Free Zone which has entered into investment agreements across various industries, including the food and beverage, solar panels, gypsum board and warehousing sectors, as well as a new sugar plant.

Cargo volumes moving through the port of Salalah in the first six months of the year were higher than in the equivalent period of 2018, although last year’s performance was impacted negatively by Cyclone Mekunu. Salalah handled 1.94 million teu in the six months to the end of June 2019, 10% up on the first half of 2018. General cargo movements rose 8%, to 8.19 million tons in this period. Container and general cargo capacity have now been restored to pre-cyclone levels, the port says, while restoration work relating to other party facilities are still ongoing.

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