Oman International Container Terminal has broken ground on the first phase of its capacity expansion in the Port of Sohar.
The construction will pave the way to increase the terminal’s capacity from the current 800,000 20-foot-equivalent units to 1.5 million TEUs toward the end of this year. It will also enable the consolidation of the existing and future container-handling operations at the port. The investment in this expansion is estimated to reach about 50 million Omani rials (approximately US$129.8 million).
The terminal will have a total quay length of about 1 kilometer (about 0.6 miles) and a 68 hectare (about 168 acre) container yard. It will be outfitted with the four current quay cranes, as well as three additional post-Panamax quay cranes and 14 rubber-tire gantry cranes.
“(The expansion) will not only make Sohar more attractive to bring more transshipment cargo, it will also offer an excellent opportunity to bring back the Omani cargoes which are currently being served by neighboring country ports,” said Rashid Jamil, CEO of OICT, in a written statement. “This volume is estimated to be around 200,000 TEUs per annum, approximately 25 percent of the total Omani domestic market.”
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by China Harbour Construction, Sohar Industrial Port and OICT.
While working on the first phase of the expansion, Port of Sohar and OICT are looking into the next phase, which will entail the development of Terminal D by 2018, opening up an additional capacity of 2.5 million TEUs.