Work begins on $130m Sohar Port container terminal

Expansion will see capacity increased by 87.5% to 1.5 million TEU

Photo for illustrative purposes
Photo for illustrative purposes

A groundbreaking ceremony took place at the Port of Sohar on Thursday to mark the start of construction of a new $130m container terminal.

The port, which is operated by Oman International Container Terminals, will increase capacity by 87.5% to 1.5m TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) from its currently level of 800,000 TEU when work completes towards the end of the year, according to the Oman Daily Observer.

 The work is being carried out by China Harbour Construction Co. The new terminal will gave a total quay length of 1km and a 68-hectare container yard. It will also be fitted with three new post-Panamax quay cranes, alongside the port's existing four quay cranes.

This means it will be able handle larger vessels.

Andre Toet, CEO of Sohar Industrial Port Co said that a consortium of major shipping lines collectively known as the G6 is already using the port.

He added that the expansion "will attract more main liners in the future, further reducing the logistics costs in the Oman supply chain".

Meanwhile, Oman International Container Terminals CEO, Capt Rashid Jamil, added: "We truly believe that our expansion and the opportunities offered by Sohar’s location will stimulate further increase of activities in Sohar. It will not only make Sohar more attractive to bring more transshipment cargo, it will also offer an excellent opportunity to bring back the Omani cargoes which are currently being served by neighbouring country ports."

He estimated that the port cound could take back around 200,000 TEU of traffic from neighbouring country ports.

“This will increase the possibilities for trade to increase and therewith open up more local job opportunities.”

The work is the first of a multi-phase project which will include the development of a further terminal by 2018, growing capacity to 2.5m TEU.

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