Sohar Port and Freezone has signed an agreement with bulk handler C. Steinweg Oman to expand the storage area of the port’s general cargo terminal by 27 hectares (270,000 square metres), in order to anticipate future growth, especially in the field of minerals export.

“The expansion agreement represents a further investment in Sohar Port and Freezone by the C. Steinweg Group, and further strengthens Sohar’s position as the leading export facility for minerals,” the port said in a statement, adding that the new storage facilities were expected to be completed in four months and fully operational in the fourth quarter of 2022.

According to Sohar Port statistics, dry bulk throughput hit 40m tons last year, and has grown at an average annual rate of 8.5% in the four years to 2021.

“This agreement adds to our capacity to meet growing demand for minerals across the region and solidifies Sohar’s position as a major global cargo terminal,” Mark Geilenkirchen, Sohar Port and Freezone ceo, said. “With demand continuing to soar, C. Steinweg Oman and Sohar will be in a prime position to serve the needs of the market, as well as Oman’s ongoing diversification and the development of mega projects across the region.”

Sohar Port and Freezone is managed by Sohar Industrial Port Company, a 50:50 joint venture between the Port of Rotterdam and the government of Oman.

“Situated between key markets in the East and the West, Sohar offers a unique strategic advantage which is of global significance to the entire C. Steinweg Group,” Hendrik van Mierop, CEO of C. Steinweg Oman, said. “We are very pleased to expand our premises within Sohar Port and build on the success we have enjoyed since handling the very first vessel to visit Sohar Port in 2004.”

Other bulk activities are also booming at the port. Oman’s national logistics group, Asyad, handles Sohar Aluminium’s bauxite imports from Australia with two of its Supramax vessels. Its four VLOCs import 9.9m tons per year from Brazil to Sohar for Vale Oman’s iron ore plant.

“These VLOCs are the largest of their kind in the world, and attest to Asyad’s long-term vision to support the nation’s dry bulk transportation requirements,” Asyad said. “A growing number of Oman’s metallurgical projects currently depend on Asyad’s modern vessels to either freight in their raw materials or ship out their refined products and finished goods.”

Source: Seatrade Maritime News