Duqm container terminal to be ready by 2019-end

Business Tuesday 27/February/2018 17:26 PM
By: Times News Service
Duqm container terminal to be ready by 2019-end

Muscat: A new container terminal at Duqm port, which will have an annual capacity to handle two million twenty-foot equivalent units (TUEs), will be ready by the end of 2019, according to a top-level port official.
“We are now building the platform, rail, and warehouses. By the end of 2018, we will order the big equipment, including cranes, for the port,” Reggy Vermeulen, chief executive officer of the Port of Duqm, told the Times of Oman in an exclusive interview.
Turkey’s Serka Taahhut Insaat is building the container terminal, which will have a length of 1.6 km. “The master plan for the Port of Duqm has been slightly changed. We have added capacity in mineral and roll on/roll off terminals. So, the container terminal will be 1.6 km long, extendable to 2.2 km,” Vermeulen remarked.
He said three major shipping lines, MSC, CMA CGM, and Balaji Shipping have listed Duqm as a final destination. Most of them use Duqm as the last leg of Oman Shipping’s feeder lines.
Vermeulen further explained that the port would focus on Sebacic Oman, which is expected to start commercial operations for the containerised export business soon. “There will be a big requirement for containerised shipment for the planned refinery as well,” he added.
Also, port authorities will try to attract containers going to the Al Wusta region via the Duqm port. Vermeulen noted that project cargo imports via Duqm were now showing a growing trend. Also, there was growth in operational cargo for the oil and gas industry.
Duqm port has witnessed tremendous growth in mineral exports last year. As many as 600,000 tonnes of minerals were exported through Duqm port last year. “This is a new market for the Port of Duqm and we will continue to encourage mineral exports because we believe that with efficient logistics support in Duqm, we will be able to eventually attract the industry link to the mineral business,” he said.
He added: “Mineral is the new oil of Oman. It is a big resource for the country and is barely tapped. To start with, the country needs to strengthen mineral exports and make a name. Then, we have to attract mineral processing industries for value addition.”
The major export markets of Oman’s minerals are India, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.