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Sohar Port and Freezone signs deal for ports?s South Phase 1

The Sohar Port South Development will ultimately add 200 ha in total to the present capacity of Sohar Port, which currently stands at around 2,000 ha. (Image source: Sohar Port)

Highlighting the rapid growth within Oman?s logistics sector, Sohar Port and Freezone signed an agreement with Dredging International NV ? Earth Moving Worldwide LTD (DINV-EMW JV) for the development of Phase 1 of the Sohar Port South construction package 1

Totalling an investment of US$24mn, the agreement will see the development of the first 50 ha of useable land within the new port expansion, which is expected to be fully completed by Q4 2018, according to Muscat Daily.

Under the terms of the development agreement, the first phase includes the engineering, land reclamation and stabilisation, and construction of approximately the 50 ha of usable land within the port area, together with soil improvement, 1,310 metres of shoreline protection, stormwater drainage, and navigation aids.

Signing the agreement on behalf of Sohar Port and Freezone were the CEO, Mark Geilenkirchen, and deputy CEO, Jamal Aziz; while DINV-EMW JV was represented by Alberto Mino, area manager of Dredging International NV, and Yves Aertssen, director of the EMW group.

Commenting on the importance of expanding operational capacity at the port, Geilenkirchen said, ?This expansion is essential for Sohar Port and Freezone to compete on a larger scale, and highlights our emergence as a logistics hub of choice within the Middle East. The Sohar Port South Development will support increased trade flows in the sultanate and will allow shipping lines to launch more direct calls to the port, opening the doors to a greater variety of customers coming to Sohar in the future. The added land area at the port will significantly boost our abilities to handle larger volumes of cargo traffic as well as create new and sustainable jobs in Sohar.?

?Investors are lining up to take advantage of the additional 200 hectares being offered as part of the Sohar Port South Development. One of the first investors on-board is Trescorp, a Singapore-based oil and petroleum products trading firm. In September 2017, the company signed a pact with Sohar Port and Freezone to develop a 45-ha terminal for the handling, storage and blending of crude oil, fuel oil and diesel at the port.

?Trescorp?s Sohar venture requires deep water berths of 25 metres drafts to handle supertankers of up to 320,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT) capacity. Total investment in the project, which will include facilities for other petroleum products in the next phase, is estimated at US$600mn and will generate significant employment opportunities within Sohar Port and Freezone,? Geilenkirchen said.

The Sohar Port South Development involves extensive land reclamation, which will ultimately add 200 ha in total to the present capacity of Sohar Port, which currently stands at around 2,000 ha.