In line with diversifying Oman’s economy as well as adding value to its mining sector and the Sultanate’s substantial reserves of minerals, SOHAR Port and Freezone has developed SOHAR Dry Bulk Logistics Corridor to boost the export of minerals that are mined and processed in Oman to international markets at competitive prices.
The signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between SOHAR Port and Freezone, Vale in Oman’s Distribution Center, and Oman National Investments Development Company SAOC ‘TANMIA®’, is the first step. The agreement builds on infrastructure already in place in SOHAR, currently operated by Vale in Oman to import and export millions of tons of iron ore and pellets. The facilities allow the largest ships in the world, so-called Very Large Ore Carriers (VLOC) with a capacity of up to 400 000 t each, to be berthed at the port.
Due to efficient road connectivity in SOHAR and a current cargo railway development, the agreement has the potential to immediately support the efficient flow of mining cargo to SOHAR Port. From there the minerals can be stockpiled, processed and exported to markets all over the world. Vale in Oman’s deep-water bulk jetty can provide the required services at globally competitive prices to help fuel further growth in SOHAR Port. The jetty is the longest in the region and ranks in the world’s top ten on draft. With Vale in Oman’s initial investment of around US$2 billion, there is no need for additional capital investment as the facilities are already operational since 2011.
“Oman is one of the most mineral rich countries in the MENA region and our strategy is to build on this to achieve competitiveness in the industrial minerals market and hence gain sustainable economic growth for the Sultanate,” said Rashid Saif Al Saadi, CEO of TANMIA®, one of the promoting entities of Minerals Development Oman SAOG, which is currently under formation.
Vale in Oman’s CEO, Sergio Espeschit, added: “Since our operations were inaugurated and began operations four years ago, we committed to the Sultanate to create this SOHAR Dry Bulk Logistics Corridor, which will directly benefit the mining and minerals sector in Oman. Our dry bulk terminal in SOHAR Port already has the necessary internal infrastructure and logistics capability to support the diversification of Oman’s economy that will enable the Sultanate’s minerals to reach global markets at competitive prices.”
SOHAR Port CEO Andre Toet summed up the agreement when he said: “Our existing dry bulk infrastructure is world class; this agreement is about utilising that same investment for exports — and that makes so much sense for all of us; it should lead to more growth, more jobs and a more sustainable economic model for Oman.”
Read the article online at: https://www.drybulkmagazine.com/ports-terminals/04042016/sohar-dry-bulk-logistics-corridor-developed/