SOHAR has released yet another set of very successful growth figures, this time for the third quarter of 2015, as both the Port and Freezone continue to play a crucial role in the diversification and globalisation of Oman’s economy.
The company announced the Port’s cargo throughput results for the third quarter of the year, ending 30th September 2015. The results reflect a consistent growth across all cargo volumes.
The Port’s organic growth was significantly boosted by the relocation of all commercial traffic from Port Sultan Qaboos in Muscat from September of last year. Container volume in Q3 2015 grew by a staggering 53% from Q3 of 2014, up from 93,000 TEU to over 142,000 TEU. Combining the figures for SOHAR and Port Sultan Qaboos, shows an organic growth rate of 5% over the first three quarters of 2015 compared to this time last year. For the period from January to September 2015, container volume in SOHAR reached over 407,000 TEU.
Bulk cargo also grew at SOHAR Port, up by 9% in comparison to Q3 last year, increasing from 10.4 million tons in Q3 of 2014, to 11.3 million tons in Q3 of 2015. Over the first three quarters combined, bulk at SOHAR is up by 22%, reaching over 34 million tons for the period from January to September 2015.
The general cargo terminal at SOHAR has also seen significant growth this year, with throughput up by 60% over the first three quarters of 2015, reaching a combined volume of 2.3 million tons. Much of this growth has been captured from other regional ports. Dry and break-bulk was up from 1.3 million tons in the first three quarters of 2014, to over 1.9 million tons for the first three quarters this year, an increase of 48%. Especially RoRo numbers at the terminal have seen an impressive increase of 181% over the first three quarters of 2015 – SOHAR now handles well over 200,000 vehicles annually.
With Oman’s Vision 2020 programme now in full swing, the Sultanate continues to invest heavily in diversifying the economy beyond its traditional petrochemical base, as it moves forward with its plan to transform itself into a major industrial and logistics centre for the region and beyond.
Andre Toet (pictured), CEO of SOHAR Port, said: “A 53% year-on-year increase in container throughput in Q3 is testament to the success of our operations here at SOHAR. Our rapid growth has positioned SOHAR as a significant regional hub, and we are fully committed to building a sustainable logistics infrastructure that will support Oman in achieving our Vision 2020 objectives.”
Over the past few months, SOHAR has continued to add new direct shipping lines to its already impressive roster, announcing the addition of global lines Hanjin and Evergreen, directly linking the Port to the Far East. SOHAR Port has recently been shortlisted for Port of the Year at the Maritime Standard Awards 2015, and the Best Dry Bulk Port at the IBJ Awards 2015, to be held soon in Antwerp.
Jamal Aziz, CEO of SOHAR Freezone, added: “We are continuing our unrelenting efforts to increase the size of investments in our Freezone. It is one of our main objectives to play an important role in the diversification process of Oman’s economy and take full advantage of SOHAR’s strategic location in the region which is considered very crucial for our growth. The tremendous work that has gone into growing the business here continues unabated. We are also very proud that SOHAR Freezone recently received two commendations from the Financial Times fDi Magazine Global Free Zones of the Year Awards, for ‘Ease of Access’ and ‘Improved Infrastructure’.”