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Sohar Port container traffic up 58% amid $130m upgrade

Port of Sohar has spent US $130m on upgrades amid rampant growth in container traffic
Container traffic at port of Sohar increased 58% in 2014
Container traffic at port of Sohar increased 58% in 2014

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Port of Sohar spent US $130 million upgrading its infrastructure and equipment last year amid a 58% rise in container traffic to 330,663-teu during the year, according to port and free zone CEO Andre Toet.

Oman is spending billions of dollars diversifying its economy away from its dependence on hydrocarbons and logistics is seen as a potential new backbone for the economy.

Toet told Arabian Supply Chain.com, the online home of Maritime & Ports Middle East, that the development of the GCC rail network will transform the country into a major industrial and logistics centre with Sohar as the gateway for most goods imported and exported from the country.

The management of the Port of Sohar are therefore spending extensively on upgrading the port’s capabilities. In 2017, construction will begin on increasing capacity to 4-million-teu, at a reported cost of US $155-180 million.

Toet declined to confirm the investment coast, but indicated construction would be complete by mid-2018 in an interview with Customs Today.

The 4,500 hectare freezone, which opened in 2010 has been “fast expanding,” Toet told Maritime & Ports Middle East in March, with the first 500 hectare block “almost full” and designing of the second 500 hectare area underway.

Like the broader Omani economy, Port of Sohar has focused on diversifying its activities with three business pillars; upstream steel metals, upstream hydrocarbons and logistics.

A fourth pillar, food transhipment, is under development with a sugar refinery and several other major projects, due to begin construction soon.

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