Port of Salalah

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Lloyds List: The Port of Salalah is well-established as one of the leading transhipment hubs in the Middle East. Last year, the port handled around 2.64m teu, an increase of more than 10% compared with the 2.39m teu recorded in 2006. A key factor in this increase was the opening of a fifth deepwater berth at the port in 2007. This berth is equipped with six more super post-panamax gantry cranes that can work vessels with containers stacked 23 across on deck. Regional marketing manager Morten Lund said: “The port of Salalah has been operating at a level close to maximum throughput capacity for the last couple of years, and this has limited our ability to increase throughput from existing customers, let alone open the port up to other shipping lines. “The inauguration of the new berth last year meant we could enjoy immediate growth from our current customers.”

The port currently has three main customers for container transhipment . These are Maersk Line, Safmarine and APL. At present, the Port of Salalah has five mainline container berths, offering over 1,700 m of continuous quay wall, with water depths alongside down to 18 m. These facilities are equipped with 17 post-panamax cranes, as well as a substantial number of RTGs. This year, Port of Salalah will open Berth Six, which will introduce a further section of 450 m of quay wall, again with an 18 m water depth. Four additional super post-panamax gantry cranes will also be commissioned at this stage, while the total number of RTGs at Berths Five and Six will rise to 34. In all, the two new berths will increase Salalah’s annual throughput capacity by 2m teu, and total capacity will thus reach around 4.5m teu annually. These berths are served by a new approach channel, with an 18.5 m draft and a 800 m diameter turning circle. Further expansion, involving a minimum of three more container berths — Berths Seven, Eight and Nine — has been approved and is in the design stage. These will have a total length of 1,350 m and an 18 m water depth and equipment will include 15 more super post-panamax gantry cranes as well as 45 RTGs. When they are operational, the three berths will provide Salalah with the ability to handle an additional 2.8m teu a year. As a result, total throughput capacity at the port will rise to 7.3m teu.

This part of the project will involve creating a further approach channel to the north of the existing terminal, with an18.5 m draft, and a 650 m diameter turning circle. The new berths themselves will back on to the new Berths Five and Six. The Port of Salalah is also expanding general cargo handling facilities in the port. A new 507 m long berth is under development, with a 16 m draft alongside, and an additional yard area of 211,000sq m is being created. Additional cargo handling capacity is also being provided by the acquisition of marine loading arms capable of handling 3,000 tonnes an hour of bulk liquids, a 2,000 tonnes per hour bulk aggregate conveyor loading system and a 300 tonnes per hour vacuum handling system for bulk cargoes. At the end of 2007, capacity at the general cargo terminal was around 2.5m tonnes a year. The aim is to raise this to 5m tonnes a year by 2014.

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