Oman: Sohar Port Shows Strong Growth

Throughput levels in the Port of Sohar have surged across all cargo types during 2012.

Total cargo volumes handled by the port soared 51% to reach 43,936,193 freight registered tons (FRT) in 2012, from 29,134,240 FRT a year earlier. Vessel traffic jumped 29% to 1,918 calls, against 1,487 vessel movements a year earlier.

Growth in container traffic has been equally exception with the port handling 198,817 TEUs in 2012, up a hefty 83% from the previous year’s tally of 108,440 TEUs. Ro-Ro cargo, comprising mainly automotive imports, leapt 69% to 73,548 units in 2012, from 43,623 units in 2011. Dry bulk volumes also rose an impressive 78% to 26.115 million tons (mt) in 2012, buoyed largely by shipments of iron ore for Vale’s pelletising plant.

Mr. Andre Toet, CEO of Port of Sohar, emphasizes the port’s continuing success, both as a magnet for industrial investment and a hub for maritime trade: “With over $14 billion in industrial and infrastructure investment, and record growth in cargo throughput and vessel calls, Port of Sohar’s achievements in a mere 10 years are virtually without parallel anywhere in the maritime world”. Sohar Industrial Port Company (SIPC), Mr. Toet said, is optimistic about building on the port’s splendid 2012 performance by implementing a number of initiatives designed to boost operational efficiency, enhance productivity, and strengthen HSE standards across the industrial hub and free zone.

Infrastructure projects

Also auguring well for a vigorous uptrend in the port’s overall performance in 2013 are a number of strategically significant infrastructure projects that will help drive business for SIPC as well as its growing stakeholder community, he said. Notable is the expansion of the capacity of Oman International Container Terminal (OICT) to cater to volumes created as a result of the proposed conversion of Port Sultan Qaboos in Muscat into a tourism and maritime heritage port, and the consequent transfer of container and other cargo to Sohar.

During 2013, SIPC also plans to launch work on a string of landmark initiatives that will underpin the port’s continued growth over the long term. They include plans for a new Container Terminal, a reclamation scheme that will create new land for industrial development, dedicated agro-bulk terminal, new liquid jetty, a superior gate system for the port and free zone, and the further enhancement of marine services at anchorage.

Press Release, January 23, 2013

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