Sohar highlights need for freight rail terminal
The development of a freight rail terminal at Sohar will be vital in accelerating national growth and ensuring that Oman remains competitive in global markets, according to Sohar Port and Freezone's executive commercial manager.
Edwin Lammers's remarks came in a speech delivered at the Rail Projects GCC Exhibition & Summit 2014, in which he outlined the view that ongoing expansion and growth make Sohar an obvious choice for a new terminal.
“This is an exciting time for the Middle East rail industry, and even more so here in Oman. Around $250billion has been committed to building a 67,000 kilometre network in the Gulf, and work has also begun on the first phase of Oman’s 2,244 kilometre freight and passenger infrastructure,” he said.
He added: “As one of the world’s largest port development sites and the cornerstone of Oman’s global trade ambitions, we have seen steady growth in the demand for distribution and freight services.
"Connecting Sohar to rail networks therefore becomes an obvious choice from a customer service perspective, and will allow us to capitalise on rising trade volumes and drive down the cost of doing business in Oman.”
Sohar's presence at the summit comes as it applies the finishing touches to the relocation of commercial traffic from Muscat, which will see the number of containers passing through the port more than double. About 200,000 tonnes of freight cargo and 70,000 cars will also make the move from the capital.
Discussing the wider benefits of rail transport for local roads and the environment, Lammers said: “Beyond the economic value of being able to transport great volumes at quicker and more reliable speeds, rail transportation has the additional benefit of reducing road traffic and pressure on the environment.”