Dare to think big
The joint venture was first called the Oman International Container Terminal; it was founded twelve years ago by Hutchison Ports, the government of the Sultanate of Oman, Steinweg from the Netherlands and Omani investors. Now its successor is being extended.
The container terminal in Sohar, which is operated by Hutchison Ports Hong Kong, recently reached a milestone. Since it was commissioned in 2014 the facility has handled 3 million teu. It has created quite a furore in the region, having been awarded a prize recognising its operational excellence at the Transport & Logistics Middle East Awards 2018. Its annual capacity of around 1.4 million teu is now set to be augmented. The purchase of two quay cranes, manufactured and by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry, and of eight automatic gantry cranes, has been agreed. These cranes, which will help to lift the terminal’s capacity to 1.8 million teu, are due to be delivered in Q1 / 2019.
There are good reasons for these investments. In 2017 the number of vessels calling at the port of Sohar increased by 16.7% to 1,087 ships. In terms of containers, the nigh-on 840,000 teu handled represented an increase of almost 26% in comparison with the previous year. Total tonnage came to 18.7 million t, a rise of almost 24%. The port of Sohar benefits from its advantageous strategic position in the Gulf of Oman, not far from the Strait of Hormuz, approximately 200 km from Muscat, the Omani capital, and around 160 km from Dubai.