The new service, in partnership between Evergreen and Simatech, will now regularly connect SOHAR Port with other major ports in South Asia. The new line is an important addition as it broadens the connectivity of SOHAR with the world and will offer even more choice for Omani importers and exporters.
His Excellency Sultan bin Salim Al Habsi, Chairman of the Board of SIPC, the Port Authority; His Excellency Said bin Hamdoon bin Saif Al Harthy, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Transport and Communications for Ports and Maritime Affairs; SOHAR Port and Freezone CEO’s Andre Toet and Jamal Aziz; Albert Pang, the CEO of Oman International Container Terminal LLC (OICT); as well as representatives of the Evergreen and Simatech shipping lines were at the quayside on Friday ahead of the arrival of the vessel in SOHAR.
The ceremony also celebrated the continued rapid growth of SOHAR Port; since the closure of Port Sultan Qaboos in Muscat to commercial traffic in June last year, the handling capacity for container traffic at OICT in SOHAR Port has more than doubled.
HE Sultan Al Habsi, Chairman of the Board of SOHAR Port and Freezone, said: “By attracting investment in Oman, we are realising the vision of the government to create another major regional hub port which will help grow not only our captive cargo, but will also take full advantage of Oman’s strategic location for transshipment activities.”
Andre Toet, CEO of the Port Authority, said: “Today’s maiden call bears witness to the steady growth in both our handling capacity and our efficiency at SOHAR Port. The continued smooth operations at OICT have brought us new lines and more connections. Regular calls of vessels like the EGL Messini are a sign of even bigger things to come.”
SOHAR Port aims to ensure all Oman-bound cargo will be directed through Omani ports in the near future. Jamal Aziz, CEO of SOHAR Freezone said: “SOHAR Port Authority is actively working together with OICT and our other terminals on a strategy to ensure all Omani cargo flows are secured in Oman.”
As SOHAR Port flourishes so does the Freezone; Jamal Aziz concluded: “We now have the capacity for 1.5 million TEUs annually through the port and that translates directly into more business opportunities in SOHAR Freezone; as the Freezone grows as a manufacturing base, the port will also grow its share of exports. Our aim is to build more in-country value all the way along the supply chain and today’s ceremony marks another important step on that journey.”