SOHAR Port wins world’s best dry bulk port award

IBJSOHAR Port CEO Mark Geilenkirchen (centre) receives the award at the IBJ Awards. (Image source: SOHAR Port)SOHAR Port and Freezone has won the world’s ‘Best Dry Bulk Port Award’ at IBJ Awards ceremony, which took place recently in Amsterdam, Netherlands

The International Bulk Journal welcomed international industry leaders to Amsterdam’s former Stock Exchange building in the heart of the city for a glittering ceremony. Executive commercial manager Robert Bartstra received the world’s Best Dry Bulk Port Award on behalf of SOHAR. This year’s award was sponsored by TBA Group, a leading international port planning and port operations consultancy. Other shortlisted finalists for Best Dry Bulk Port included Aurecon, Australia, for QPMC in Qatar; Essar Ports, India; HAROPA, France; and Jurong Ports, Singapore.

SOHAR is equipped with deep-water jetties capable of handling the Valemax class of Very Large Ore Carriers, which at 400,000-tonne capacity are among the world’s largest ships. The Omani port experienced exceptionally strong growth in dry bulk cargo throughput of 24 per cent in the first six months of 2017 compared to the same period last year and SOHAR now ranks as the largest bulk port in the Middle East and South Asia. Vale is one of the world’s largest mining companies interms of iron ore and pellets production and is the largest nickel producer in the world. With an initial investment of close to US$2bn into the deep-water jetty and operations in SOHAR, Vale in Oman employs advanced technologies including an innovative environmental management system. In the first four years of full operations by Vale in Oman, from 2012-2016, over 45mn tonnes of iron ore were imported to SOHAR from Brazil.

In addition to Vale in Oman’s operations, Jindal Shadeed’s DRI plant and rolling mills and Sohar Aluminium are significant importers of dry bulk, as well as a number of other smaller metals facilities in the port and adjacent freezone. The growth in dry bulk passing through the port has had a significant and positive knock-on effect on downstream industries in the freezone, and has played a significant role in helping to generate more jobs.

Commenting on the latest IBJ Award, SOHAR CEO Mark Geilenkirchen, said, “We are all immensely proud to be named Dry Bulk Port of the Year and congratulate Vale in Oman and our other tenants’ teams on their achievements. Dry bulk imports are essential for our metals cluster in SOHAR and our aim is to manage this in an environmentally sound and sustainable way. We utilise state-of-the-art technologies in the dry bulk terminal, including i-MOOR for real-time load monitoring; laser-guided Berthing Approach Systems for increased efficiency and safety; Environmental Monitoring Systems which give us values for a full-range of weather parameters; and special containment systems that mean there is effectively no cargo spill into the ocean.”

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