Muscat: Highlighting the rapid growth in Oman’s aggregate market, Marafi SOHAR has joined hands with Sohar Port and Freezone to develop and operate a new high-capacity mineral aggregate terminal at the port.
The agreement was formalised between Sohar Port and Marafi on May 23 at the Sohar Port and Freezone branch office in Muscat. Sohar Port CEO Mark Geilenkirchen signed the agreement with Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Al Abri representing Marafi SOHAR.
Highlighting the market opportunities generated by the new development, Geilenkirchen said, “Sohar Port is ideally equipped to develop high-capacity aggregate facilities, especially when you consider that most of the quarries producing mineral aggregate are in close proximity to the port. As a result, the port provides easy access for export and a great opportunity for development."
"We are proud to join hands with such a forward thinking company as Marafi SOHAR, which has a long-term strategy in place to expand its horizons internationally, through business partnerships and relations, with Sohar as its gateway to the Gulf and beyond,” he added.
The key proposal will utilise the Bulk Terminal No. 25 at Sohar Port and will have one stockpile yard giving a total area of around 200,000 square metres. This phase will take around 20 months to develop. In the meantime, and given the lucrative short-term opportunity, a temporary hybrid solution will be established to allow aggregate exports within only 16 weeks of the sub-usufruct agreement date.
The hybrid solution will be located at Terminal 2D with a total area of around 100,000 square metres and will see the installation of two mobile ship loaders with a capacity of 750 MT/hour and a third one as a spare unit. Additionally, the yard will be prepared to receive three separate stockpiles of two grades each and the installation of two weighbridges. The initial phase will see all the necessary equipment required being brought to the site.
The expected time frame to start barge loading will be eight weeks from the signing agreement for phase 1, and some 16 weeks for phase 2, which will involve both vessel and barge loading. In total, the loading capacity will be approximately eight million tonnes per year.
Marafi SOHAR is a newly established subsidiary and investing arm of Asyad, as part of the port operations and management company’s vision to transform Oman into one of the top 10 global logistics hubs. It also seeks to develop the port and forge global business relationships.