Muscat: The Port of Salalah marked yet another milestone in its ongoing initiative to promote Oman as a logistics hub for the region with the successful commissioning of a state-of-the-art agricultural bulk terminal.
The facility is being developed by Arabian Sea Port Services, which is a joint venture between the Spanish conglomerate Algeposa Group, Oasis Development Co., and Al Thabat Holding.
The Algeposa Group is one of the leading multimodal logistics operators in Spain, specialising in the handling of bulk grains, fertilizers, steel products, and forest products, among others. With an annual turnover of more than US$200 million, it has a presence in most Spanish ports and rail terminals, and continues to expand globally. The company is committed to developing bulk grain logistics in Oman and offering an integrated management service dedicated to the import and export of agri-bulk commodities such as wheat, corn, soybean, sugar, and rice, as well as general cargo.
The recently-commissioned first phase of the project consists of a 25,000sq.m facility with the capacity to store 60,000 tonnes of bulk grains. The facility also features equipment capable of handling 15,000MT of grains per day, and provides value added services such as quality control, pest control, and bagging services, among others.
The second phase, which is already being planned, is expected to double the capacity of the facility, enabling it to handle up to 500,000MT per annum.
“As one of the leading ports in the region, we are naturally positioned to leverage both our location and capabilities to diversify our service portfolio,” said Port of Salalah CEO Andrew Dawes. “This newly commissioned facility allows the port to not only provide enhanced services to our existing customers but also helps attract new customers who have shown interest in using Salalah as their hub for the region.”
"We believe that the expertise of Algeposa, combined with the capabilities of the Port of Salalah, will provide a superior customer experience and result in more companies using Salalah as their hub for food and agricultural commodities in the future,” he added.
“Our committed investment in the project, which aggregates to over OMR5 million, is one of our biggest investments outside Europe,” said Iker Elicegui, Country Manager of Aleposa. “The proximity of Salalah to all major consumption centres in the Middle East and Africa, combined with its good connectivity, allows our customers to have a reliable and cost-efficient supply chain."
“The first phase of the facility is already attracting huge interest from many of our global customers, who are looking at locating their operations in the region,” he added. “We also see significant potential in our facility as a catalyst for downstream industries in food processing, packaging, and labelling to cater to the entire region.”
The management of the Port of Salalah continues to work on a number of new business opportunities aimed at contributing to the growth of the shipping and logistics sector in Oman, in line with the government’s vision of establishing the logistics sector as one of the pillars of economic growth and diversification in the Sultanate.