Sohar Port and Freezone signs agreement for South-Phase 1

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Sohar Port and Freezone signs agreement with DINV-EMW JV for the development of the first 50 hectares of usable land.

Highlighting the rapid growth within Oman’s logistics sector, SOHAR Port and Freezone have signed an agreement with Dredging International NV – Earth Moving Worldwide LTD (DINV-EMW JV) for the development of Phase 1 of the SOHAR Port South Construction Package I.  Totalling an investment of USD 24mn (approx. OMR 9.24mn), the agreement will see the development of the first 50 hectares of useable land within the new port expansion; which is expected to be fully completed by Q4 2018.

The agreement was signed on April 18 at a ceremony held at SOHAR Port and Freezone head office in Sohar. Signing the agreement on behalf of SOHAR was the CEO, Mark Geilenkirchen, and DCEO- CEO SOHAR Freezone, Jamal Aziz; while DINV-EMW JV were represented by Alberto Mino, Area Manager of Dredging International NV, and Yves Aertssen, Director of the EMW group.

Commenting on the importance of expanding operational capacity at the port, Mark Geilenkirchen noted, “This expansion is essential for SOHAR to compete on a larger scale, and highlights our emergence as a logistics hub of choice within the Middle East. The development is driven by the continued growth we’ve experienced year-on-year, and the rapid rise of the logistics sector as a whole across Oman. The SOHAR Port South Development will support increased trade flows in the Sultanate and will allow shipping lines to launch more direct calls to the port, opening the doors to a greater variety of customers coming to SOHAR in the future. The added land area at the port will significantly boost our abilities to handle larger volumes of cargo traffic as well as create new and sustainable jobs in Sohar.”

“Investors are lining up to take advantage of the additional 200 hectares being offered as part of the SOHAR Port South Development. One of the first investors on-board is Trescorp, a Singapore-based oil and petroleum products trading firm. In September 2017, the company signed a pact with SOHAR to develop a 45-hectare terminal for the handling, storage and blending of crude oil, fuel oil and diesel at the port. Trescorp’s Sohar venture requires deep water berths of 25m drafts to handle supertankers of up to 320,000 DWT capacity. The total investment in the project, which will include facilities for other petroleum products in the next phase, is estimated at $600 million and will generate significant employment opportunities within SOHAR Port and Freezone,” added Mark Geilenkirchen.

The SOHAR Port South Development involves extensive land reclamation, which will ultimately add 200 hectares in total to the present capacity of SOHAR Port, which currently stands at around 2,000 hectares. Under the terms of the development agreement, The First Phase includes the engineering, land reclamation and stabilisation, and construction of approximately the 50 hectares of usable land within the port area, together with soil improvement, 1,310m of shoreline protection, storm water drainage, and navigation aids.

The Contractor will also be responsible for managing interfaces between neighbouring facilities and infrastructures. The vital reclamation project will facilitate the ever-increasing demand for space at SOHAR and will involve over 750,000m3 of earthworks in order to reclaim the area from the sea. Another major task of the construction process is the 1,310m shoreline protection, which will require in excess of 450,000 tonnes of rock.

“SOHAR Port is currently one of major ports in the Middle East, a focal harbour that links the Far East with the Arab Region. The expansion of the port’s planned infrastructure is a key factor that will continue to support SOHAR and Oman’s rapidly growing logistics sector over the coming years. DINV-EMW JV, with its strong history in the Middle East, considers this a strategic project that will continue to support the growth of companies in the Sultanate and the region as a whole,” added Yves Aertssen.

With almost 175 years of experience and a versatile and extensive fleet DINV is one of the primary operating companies of the DEME Group specialised in dredging works and in the construction and development of ports, artificial islands, Reclamations and rock protection, estuarial dams, canals and inland waterways, dyke construction and reinforcement, beach replenishment and coastal protection, supply of dredged aggregates, and salvage activities.

Aertssen Group is a family business active in Belgium since 1956 and who have developed their international activities in the Middle East since 2006. EMW is specialised in Large scale Earthmoving, Coastal protection and revetment works, Soil improvement and compaction, Site preparation works, Rock excavation and Mining, Aggregate crushing and screening, and Demolition Works.