APL Line’s Savannah at the Oman International Container Terminal

APL Line’s Savannah at the Oman International Container Terminal

10,000 teu ship docks in Sohar

OICT’s expanded facility will support growing traffic generated by Oman’s economic and industrial boom

01 July 2014

Sohar Port and Freezone reported an important milestone with the arrival of the first 10,000 teu ship to dock at the newly expanded Oman International Container Terminal (OICT).

The arrival of APL Line’s Savannah followed an expansion that nearly doubled capacity at OICT and included installation of new post-panamax cranes. Dr Ahmed Mohammed Salem Al Futaisi, Minister for Transport and Communication, expressed delight at the arrival of the vessel.

OICT signed the development agreement early last year for expansion of a 70-hectare container terminal. The development increases capacity from 800,000 teu to 1.5 million teu and sees yard space more than double from 28 hectares as well as having seven post-panamax quay cranes and 14 rubber-tyred gantry cranes installed.

“The investment in the new expansion totals $130 million, and the state of the art facilities, award winning technology and port depth will mean the current maximum vessel size increases from 6,500 teu to in excess 10,000 teu,” an OICT statement said.

“This increased capability will further underscore Sohar’s competitive position; already many of the world’s most renowned shipping companies such as Maersk Line, UASC, CMA and APL operate from the existing container terminal.  These recent developments enable shipping lines to bring their mainline vessels directly into Oman.”

The statement added that Maersk Line was the first to embrace the move of commercial activity from Muscat and announce its commitment to Sohar.  

Andre Toet, CEO, Sohar Port and Freezone, and Jamal Aziz, deputy CEO of Sohar Port and Free Zone and CEO of Sohar Freezone, were both eager to outline exactly what this latest development means for Sohar.  Toet said: “We are committed and geared towards catering for and creating growth in container traffic. We’re in prime position to attract shipping lines to channel their North Oman specific boxes through Sohar rather than Jebel Ali or other neighbouring ports.”

Aziz continued: “This is another milestone in the story of Sohar Port and Freezone. From humble beginnings we’ve now developed into one of the fastest growing port and free zones in the world and now eagerly look to the future to continue our incredible success story.”

Sohar Port and Freezone is a deep sea port and free zone in the Middle East, situated in the Sultanate of Oman around 200 km northwest of its capital Muscat. With current investments exceeding $15 billion, it is one of the world’s largest port and free zone developments and lies at the centre of global trade routes between Europe and Asia. Sohar provides unequalled access to booming Gulf economies while avoiding the additional costs of passing through the Strait of Hormuz. The existing road network and the future rail system and airport provide direct connectivity to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, as well as to the rest of the world. Equipped with deep-water jetties capable of handling the world’s largest ships, Sohar has leading global partners that operate its container, dry bulk, liquid and gas terminals including Hutchison Whampoa, C. Steinweg Oman, Oiltanking Odfjell and Svitzer. Sohar Port and Freezone is managed by Sohar Industrial Port Company (SIPC), a joint venture between the Port of Rotterdam and the Sultanate of Oman.

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