Muscat: Sohar port was awarded the Best Dry Bulk Port at the IBJ Awards in Amsterdam recently, according to a statement from the port authorities.
One of the main events in the maritime bulk industry’s annual calendar, the IBJ Awards took place recently in Amsterdam. The International Bulk Journal welcomed international industry leaders to Amsterdam’s former Stock Exchange building in the heart of the city for a glittering ceremony, said a press release from the port.
Executive Commercial Manager Robert Bartstra received the world’s Best Dry Bulk Port Award on behalf of Sohar. Other shortlisted finalists for Best Dry Bulk Port included Aurecon, Australia, for QPMC in Qatar; Essar Ports, India; HAROPA, France; and Jurong Ports, Singapore.
Sohar is equipped with deep-water jetties capable of handling the Valemax class of Very Large Ore Carriers, which at 400,000-tonnes capacity are among the world’s largest ships. The Omani port experienced exceptionally strong growth in dry bulk cargo throughput of 24 per cent in the first six months of 2017 compared to the same period last year and Sohar now ranks as the largest bulk port in the Middle East and South Asia.
Vale is one of the world’s largest mining companies in terms of iron ore and pellets production and is the largest nickel producer in the world. With an initial investment of close to $2 billion into the deep-water jetty and operations in Sohar, Vale in Oman employs advanced technologies including an innovative environmental management system. In the first four years of full operations by Vale in Oman, from 2012-2016, over 45 million tonnes of iron ore were imported to Sohar from Brazil.
In addition to Vale in Oman’s operations, Jindal Shadeed’s DRI plant and rolling mills and Sohar Aluminium are significant importers of dry bulk, as well as a number of other smaller metals facilities in the Port and adjacent Freezone. The growth in dry bulk passing through the port has had a significant and positive knock-on effect on downstream industries in the Freezone, and has played a significant role in helping to generate more jobs.
“We are all immensely proud to be named Dry Bulk Port of the Year and congratulate Vale in Oman and our other tenants’ teams on their achievements,” said Mark Geilenkirchen, chief executive officer of Sohar.
“Dry bulk imports are essential for our metals cluster in Sohar and our aim is to manage this in an environmentally sound and sustainable way. We utilise state-of-the-art technologies in the dry bulk terminal, including i-MOOR for real-time load monitoring; laser-guided Berthing Approach Systems for increased efficiency and safety; Environmental Monitoring Systems which give us values for a full-range of weather parameters; and special containment systems that mean there is effectively no cargo spill into the ocean.”
This year’s award was sponsored by TBA Group, a leading international port planning and port operations consultancy.