Omanâ€™s Ministry of Transport and Communications has awarded a commercial bid representing investment of OMR 55 million ($143 million USD) to more than double the Port of Salalahâ€™s general cargo handling capacity.
The project will increase dry bulk cargo handling capacity to 20 million tons and liquid cargo to over six million tons annually. The current annual general cargo handling capacity is 5.5 million tons.
â€śThe general cargo business has been growing rapidly here, and this new expansion will play a significant role in serving the continued development of businesses in Oman and the surrounding regionâ€ť stated Port of Salalahâ€™s CEO, Peter Ford.
The Port of Salalah, astride the major global shipping lane between Europe and Asia on the Gulf of Oman in the Arabian Sea, holds a strategic position for transit cargoes to the upper Arabian Gulf, Indian sub-continent, Red Sea and East African markets. Salalah was the 2rd-largest containerport in the Middle East Region in 2011 with volume of 3.2 million TEUs. In its 14th year of operation, the Port of Salalah will handle its 30 millionth TEU this month with the first eastbound call of the G6 Far East/Europe string.
â€śWe are very grateful to the government of Oman and particularly the Ministry of Transport and Communication for their vision, insight and support in helping the Port of Salalah achieve this tremendous milestone of 30 million TEUsâ€ť said APM Terminals Africa-Middle East Regional CEO Peder Sondergaard.
The Port of Salalah is part of the APM Terminals Global Port, Terminal and Inland Services Network, with APM Terminals holding a 30% share in the Port, 20% held by the Government of Oman, and the remaining 50% held by institutional and private investors.
The planned expansion of the general cargo terminal includes the construction of an additional 1,200 meters of multi-purpose berth with 18 meter draft and liquid commodity loading facilities. The new liquids terminal will significantly expand Salalahâ€™s role in handling such key industrial commodities as fuel, methanol, Monoethylene glycol, and caustic soda. Major dry bulk commodities handled at Salalah include limestone, gypsum and cement as well as plastics.
â€śWe are committed to making the resources available to enable Salalah to assume a major role as a regional hub for liquid and general bulk cargoes, in addition to containers, as we meet the growing demands for increased economic activity in the Dhofar region and the growing international investment projects in Omanâ€ť said Mr. Ford.
About The Port of Salalah
Port of Salalah (also Salalah Port Services Company SAOG) is Oman’s largest port. The port is partly owned and managed by APM Terminals, one of the largest container terminal operators in the world. Port of Salalah is a made up of a Container Terminal with seven berths of up to 18m draft and a General Cargo Terminal of twelve berths of up to 16m draft. Strategically located at the major East-West Shipping Lane, the Port of Salalah is viewed as the regionâ€™s best located port in order to access the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and East Africa.
Dredging Today Staff, May 4, 2012; Images: salalahport