Muscat: Reggy Vermeulen, CEO, Port of Duqm Company, said that the company is working in cooperation with the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ), to hand over the constructional package of the port within the next days, and before the end of January 2021, so that the facility could operate with complete capacity in time. The Port of Duqm is considered the largest infrastructure project of its kind in the Special Economic Zone in Duqm (SEZAD).
In a statement to Oman News Agency (ONA), Vermeulen said that during the past years, the Port provided support for the construction of economic facilities and projects in the Special Economic Zone of Duqm, including the Duqm refinery, and projects related to the oil and gas industry.
He explained that, with effect from 2021, the port will lend support to other sectors, among them the fisheries sector and containerisation. Its activities include assistance in cutting down the cost of oil extraction in the Sultanate through the activation of the logistics sector and the export of minerals to different countries of the world.
Vermeulen said that the Port of Duqm is operating actively now and that, during the next stage, the arrival of two STS cranes will raise the capacity of the container hub and help handle large vessels. Upon the arrival of special cranes, the loading and unloading operations will be upgraded to 35 containers per hour, setting the port on track to handle one million TEUs (20-ft Equivalent Unit containers) per annum, and the plan includes the commissioning of four STS special cranes.
Vermeulen added that the Port of Duqm is also working in cooperation with OPAZ to have an integrated offer to attract foreign investments to Duqm to optimize benefits from the port’s location as a logistics hub, as well as a production hub. The investments will bring about more jobs and economic revenues, he explained. In the meantime, the Port of Duqm joins hands with Asayd Group to develop in-country capabilities and encourage foreign logistics firms to move to Duqm and use it as a base to expand services in adjoining countries, including India and East Africa countries and other Middle East states.
The Port of Duqm achieved steady growth till the third quarter of 2020, with the value of goods handled at the port rising to OMR379 million, compared to OMR174 million during the corresponding period in 2019. It also received 607 vessels, compared to 498 during the same period in 2019.
The Port of Duqm has an area of 170 sq kilometres, a swinging basin of 18 metres and a channel depth of 19 metres. The zone includes a commercial berth of 2,250 metres that includes container terminals (the length of 1,600 metres) to load and upload about 3.5 million TEUs a year and one dry materials station (at a length of 300 metres and a capacity of 5 million metric tonnes per year), as well as a multipurpose terminal that has a length of 425 metres and capacity of 800,000 tonnes per year, which can be expanded to more than 20 million containers a year.
The facility has a petroleum berth that is fully equipped to accommodate a variety of petrochemical activities. Other installations include the government berth (980 metres by 200 metres) and buildings for the Royal Yachts, the Sultan’s Special Force, the Royal Navy of Oman and Royal Oman Police.
The port is also equipped for tourism activities, with chances to set up a passenger terminal, a 4,300 liquid material dockside. The dry dock at Duqm has been a success story since its inception and it attracted many economic activities and generated large revenue to the SEZAD.
The Port of Duqm incorporates various industrial lands under the supervision of Duqm Port Company, a stretch of 2,000 hectares. It has a 4.1 km breakwater that rises 11 metres above sea level, in addition of a secondary breakwater of 4.6 km, in addition to a large number of moorings and a complete set of facilities to serve importers and exporters. This is in addition to a one-stop-shop transaction finalisation station and offices offering basic services like passes, clearances, permits, health, electricity, water and fire safety.