[28 January 2007, Oman] Oman International Container Terminal (OICT) has celebrated today the grand opening of its Terminal B, Phase I at the Port of Sohar, Oman. A quayside ceremony was organised to commemorate the special occasion, and the historic moment was marked by H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Harthy, Minister of Transport & Communications, and John Meredith, Group Managing Director of Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH), who jointly unveiled a plaque at the event.
OICT is a joint-venture between the HPH Group, the Government of Oman, Steinweg of the Netherlands and three other well-established Omani investors.
Commenting on OICT’s remarkable progress, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Harthy said, “We are pleased to witness the grand opening of OICT, which has been transformed successfully from a greenfield site into a modern container-handling facility in record time since the signing of the joint-venture agreement on 15 November 2005. We are confident that OICT will quickly establish itself as an important contributor to the economic expansion of the Omani economy, and in particular of the Batinah region.”
Speaking at the ceremony, John Meredith said, “OICT is an important member of the HPH network of ports. With its strategic location outside the Straits of Hormuz in the Gulf of Oman, OICT will strengthen Oman’s position as a centre of trade in the region, as well as serve as a gateway to international trade for the Sohar Industrial Port and other developing industries in the Batinah region.”
Jamie Frater, Chief Executive Officer of OICT, said, “OICT’s world-class facilities have attracted a number of major customers since commencing operations on 1 September 2006. It is gradually establishing itself as a crucial trade link in a rapidly developing region.”
Terminal B, Phase I has a total quay length of 285 metres and a depth alongside of 16.5 metres. The terminal has 4 post-Panamax quay cranes, 8 Rubber-tyred Gantry Cranes (RTGCs), 2 Reachstackers, and a fleet of 15 tractors and 33 trailers.
Phase II is expected to come on stream ahead of schedule in February 2007. Upon completion, the container terminal will have a total quay length of 520 metres and a total yard area of 28 hectares.