Hutchison Port Holdings Limited (HPH) Group Managing Director Eric Ip has delivered the keynote speech at the GCC Supply Chain & Logistics Conference 2015 in Sohar, outlining the group’s vision for Oman International Container Terminal (OICT), including the fast-tracking development at Terminal C, plans for Terminal D and expansion of hinterland connections all with the aim of increasing OICT’s annual handling capacity by four times to six million TEU. The construction of Terminal D will synchronise with the overall development plan of Sohar Port and may start as early as 2018/19.
His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Al Futaisi, the Minister of Transport and Communications, commented on the developments at Sohar in his opening address at the conference, “I am pleased to note that the terminal productivity at Sohar for containers and general cargo now exceeds the previous performance that was achieved by Mena Sultan Qaboos. We are not resting at this level of performance and are targeting for higher port productivity.”
Mr. Ip said, “OICT is the gateway to Oman and HPH has achieved its mission to consolidate Muscat and Sohar cargo and to develop Sohar Port into a modern and efficient gateway port for the North Batinah region and the Sohar Freezone.
“We are committed to Sohar Port and to the Sultanate of Oman. We will continue the development of facilities at the port to capture the growing trade activities in the Middle East and the potential to serve the latest class of 20,000 TEU mega-vessels. We are building for the future.”
HPH estimates to make a total investment of US$303 million by 2019, including US$183.5 million that is already invested in OICT as of the end of 2014. Additionally, OICT has taken advantage of the world-class road and rail network that is being established in the Sultanate to cement its position as a key gateway for origin/destination cargo in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states.