Oman plans major port expansion

The Omani government has confirmed plans are underway for an “important” expansion of its sea ports

Al Duqm Port, Oman.
Al Duqm Port, Oman.

The Omani government has confirmed plans are underway for an “important” expansion of its sea ports.

Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Futaisi, Oman’s Minister of Transport and Communications, told ministers yesterday that a major port expansion was underway, as the Sultanate of Oman moves to diversify its economy.

He said the government hoped to achieve a number of infrastructure objectives during Oman’s five-year strategic plan that runs until 2020. Among the “most important” was the expansion of the country’s sea ports, al-Futaisi said.

Oman boasts eight major sea ports, according to the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Collectively, they are critical pillar of the national economy and the government is pumping capital into development projects, as it seeks to make Oman a regional logistics leader.

Under the plan, sea berths would be significantly deepened, boosting the flow of traded goods to and from Oman. Improvement and development of existing equipment at the sea ports across the country is planned too. As is undisclosed investment in various free zones adjacent to the country’s sea ports.

A number of expansion projects are already underway in Oman. One is the soon-to-be-completed development of the Sohar Port and Freezone, which has seen deep-water berths and around 2km of land added to the port’s capacity.

Development of Omani ports comes as the country drives forward with major road renovations to improve transport routes between the country’s various economic hubs – something that is critical for improving nationwide trade and investment.

Al-Futaisi confirmed that the length of Oman’s asphalt road network now stretched 14,840km. Length of undeveloped roads is 17,281km. Changing dirt roads to asphalt is a major infrastructure initiative the government has pledged to support.

Last year, the Tender Board of Oman awarded $2.6m to the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources to cover the design of roads in Khasab and Bukha, northern Oman.

Oman’s Ministry of Transport and Communications could not be reached to comment on further port expansion or other construction-related projects at the time of writing.

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