SOHAR Port and Freezone, a deep sea port in the Middle East have reached a milestone with the arrival of the first 10,000 TEU ship at the newly expanded Oman International Container Terminal (OICT).
Under the watchful eye of His Excellency Dr Ahmed Mohammed Salem Al-Futaisi, Minister for Transport and Communication, SOHAR, the first 10,000 (TEU) ship, APL shipping line’s Savannah, to dock in the Port was welcomed.
OICT signed the development agreement early last year for expansion of a 70-hectare container terminal at SOHAR. The development will increase capacity from 800,000 TEU to 1,500,000 TEU and will also see yard space more than double from 28 hectares, installation of seven post-panamax quay cranes and 14 rubber-tyred gantry cranes.
The investment in the new expansion totals USD 130 million, and the current maximum vessel size will increase from 6,500 TEU to in excess of 10,000 TEU. These recent developments enable shipping lines to bring their mainline vessels directly into Oman.
Maersk Line was the first to embrace the move of commercial activity from Muscat and announce their commitment to SOHAR. SOHAR Port and Freezone Chief Executive Andre Toet was reported as saying, “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”.