H E Futaisi launches commercial operations of Suwaiq Port
The Minister of Transport and Communications (MoTC) launched the commercial operations of Suwaiq Port on Saturday. In an official ceremony, H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Salim al Futaisi opened the port operation, which had been undergoing a trial run since August 15.
The launch of the port is in line with the efforts of the Ministry of Transport and Communications to integrate smaller ports with big ones to maximise the potential of the maritime logistics sector. Developing the logistics sector could improve the country’s performance by more than 50 per cent in sub-sectors contributing to the GDP, according to Tanfeedh.
“In accordance with the ministry’s plan to operate small and medium commercial ports and integrate them with the strategic ports of the sultanate, it was decided to start a trial run of Suwaiq Port on August 15, and actual run from September 1, 2018,” MoTC had stated.
Speaking at a session of the Majlis A’Shura in February, H E Dr Futaisi had said that ‘the ministry will launch commercial operations at Suwaiq Port by using the existing berth, which can be expanded if it decides to increase activities at the port’. Suwaiq Port is also likely to provide synergy to the recently announced Khazaen dry port within the Khazaen Economic City. The dry port will enable Khazaen to provide urban freight consolidation from a central distribution point to service the city of Muscat, with easy connectivity to Muscat airport and Port of Sohar via the Muscat and Batinah expressways.
“The Khazaen dry port is central to the northern coast of Oman which is the most densely populated part of the sultanate with the best road connectivity to Port of Sohar, airports and logistics providers. Collaboration is also expected with Suwaiq Port as it gradually develops in the future,” Asyad Group, Oman’s authority responsible for the development of the logistics sector, had stated during the signing ceremony to develop dry port facilities in Khazaen in July.
According to Tanfeedh, spreading logistics infrastructure investment to different regions will boost the potential of emerging sectors involved in exporting, such as mining and fisheries. An overview of the logistics sector by Tanfeedh seeks to increase investment by at least RO1bn by 2020 and raise the contribution of the logistics sector to the sultanate’s GDP to RO2bn by 2020. It also seeks to increase the number of jobs in the logistics services sector from 67,469 in 2016 to 100,000 by 2020.