Shipping industry's biggest names in Sohar move
By Gavin Gibbon
A host of the most recognised names in the maritime industry have unveiled their timeline for commencement of activity at Sohar Port and Freezone.
Among them are the world’s largest container shipping line, Maersk Line, as well as the renowned global shipping line, Safmarine. Oman Container Lines, experts in ship owning, chartering and management and integrated logistics company, Hyundai Merchant Marine have also outlined their intentions.
The Omani Government has set a deadline of August to ensure all commercial activity in Muscat is transferred to Sohar Port and Freezone, now one of the world’s largest port and free zone developments after an unparalleled period of growth in the last decade that has resulted in investments totalling $15bn.
A range of important developments have taken place within the port to ensure an easy transition, most notably the relocation and expansion of HPH-led Oman International Terminal (OICT), which has ramped up container capacity to 1.5mn TEUs.
Other investments will take place in the Expanded Petrochemical Cluster through Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries (Orpic) as well as parent company, Oman Oil Company SAOC, with a combined capital investment of around $6.5bn over the next five years.
Sohar Port and Freezone chief executives Andre Toet and Jamal Aziz, both highlighted a commitment and drive for the future. Toet said: “Investment and growth go hand in hand at Sohar Port and Freezone. We’re delighted to be working with some of the biggest and most recognised global names in the shipping industry. We have a strategy in place that will encourage growth and investment for years to come.”
Aziz added: “We’re now ready for anything; we’ve been working towards this momentous occasion for many years and look forward to a bright and prosperous future with many new partners.”