In response to the rapid growth in demand for aggregates within the Middle East region, Marafi Sohar and Sohar Port and Freezone are joining forces to develop and operate a new specialist high capacity terminal at the Omani port. Sohar is considered an ideal location as there are many aggregate rock quarries within close proximity to the port, facilitating export traffic flows.
The new aggregates terminal will be based at Bulk Terminal 25 at Sohar Port and will have one stockpile yard with a total area of around 200,000m2. This phase is expected to be operational within around 20 months. In the meantime the port says a temporary hybrid solution will be established to allow aggregate exports within only 16 weeks of the agreement, which was signed on May 23rd.
The hybrid solution will be located at Terminal 2D, and will provide a total stockpile area of around 100,000m2. The joint venture partners plan to install two mobile ship loaders with a capacity of 750 tonnes/hour and to acquire a third as a spare, back-up unit. Additionally, the yard will be prepared to accommodate three separate stockpiles of two grades each and the installation of two weighbridges.
Barge loading at the temporary terminal is expected to start within 8 weeks, with ocean-going bulk carriers being accepted within 16 weeks. The loading capacity of the initial aggregates facility is expected to be approximately eight million tonnes a year.
Marafi Sohar is a newly established subsidiary of Asyad, a government holding company. Asyad manages a diverse portfolio that includes free zones, ports, transport companies and logistics support services companies. It has been established by the government as part of its vision to transform Oman into one of the world’s top 10 logistics hubs.