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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Port of Duqm expands infrastructure and focuses on green initiatives

A total of 933 vessel calls were recorded, with the Port of Duqm Container Terminal (PODC) handling 81% (756 calls) and the ASYAD Drydock Complex (ADC) accounting for the remaining 19% (177 calls).
A total of 933 vessel calls were recorded, with the Port of Duqm Container Terminal (PODC) handling 81% (756 calls) and the ASYAD Drydock Complex (ADC) accounting for the remaining 19% (177 calls).
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MUSCAT, APRIL 3


The Port of Duqm in Oman is making significant strides in expanding its infrastructure and embracing green initiatives to meet the evolving demands of the global energy markets.


Reggy Vermeulen, Port of Duqm CEO, shed light on the port's outlook for investments in port development amidst current global market challenges.


Vermeulen, in an interview with Gulf Intelligence, highlighted the increasing investments in port infrastructure across the Middle East, citing projects in the UAE, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, and specifically the Duqm project. Positioned at an intersection between the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, the port faces challenges posed by geopolitical instability affecting trade flows. However, Vermeulen affirmed the port's proactive approach in collaborating with major players to ensure resilient and efficient trade routes.


Regarding infrastructure expansion plans for 2024, Vermeulen emphasises the dual approach of optimising existing infrastructure while developing new facilities to cater to future projects. The focus is on increasing capacity and enhancing logistical capabilities to serve a wider range of destinations. Moreover, with the rise of alternative and cleaner energy sources, the port is actively engaging in generating green hydrogen and attracting green steel industries for sustainable development.


Looking ahead, the Port of Duqm aims to continue serving markets in Africa, South Asia, and beyond, leveraging its strategic location in the Indian Ocean region. Vermeulen underlined the port's potential as a key hub in facilitating trade and manufacturing activities between regions, including the Middle East, India, Africa, and the United States. The port's role as a stable political area for logistics and manufacturing is crucial in supporting the growing demand for trade in these regions, he said.


Furthermore, Oman's free trade agreement with the US positions the Port of Duqm as a bridge between different continents, offering opportunities for leveraging raw materials from the region for manufacturing and exporting to promising markets like the US.


The port's vision, Vermeulen said, aligns with the projected growth in trade and economic activities in regions like Africa and South Asia, emphasising the need for strategic hubs like Duqm to support these developments.


In 2023, the Port of Duqm witnessed a flurry of developments, with a notable $12.2 billion investment ushering in a new era of growth and expansion. A total of 933 vessel calls were recorded, with the Port of Duqm Container Terminal (PODC) handling 81% (756 calls) and the ASYAD Drydock Complex (ADC) accounting for the remaining 19% (177 calls). This bustling maritime activity facilitated the flow of 7.55 million tonnes of cargo through the port's diverse terminals. The Port achieved an impressive Omanisation rate of 82%, with 16% representing women in the workforce.


The year saw 272 cargo vessel calls encompassing a wide range of categories, including liquid bulk, naval, container, break bulk, and dry bulk shipments. Additionally, several strategic agreements were inked to bolster the port's operations and attract key players in the industry.


Key agreements signed in 2023 included the novation of the UK Service Agreement to Emdad in January, signaling a new era of collaboration. The port solidified its partnership with DEME by signing an agreement for a storage hub, enhancing logistical capabilities. Furthermore, agreements with prestigious entities like Mitsui Kobe, Al Ahli Bank, and Vale were instrumental in paving the way for strategic alliances and fundraising initiatives.


In April, the port inked a significant deal with Mitsui Kobe for land reservation, laying the groundwork for future projects. Subsequent agreements with Al Ahli Bank for fundraising, Vale for land reservation, and Vulcan Green Steel for a license to occupy highlighted the port's commitment to sustainable and innovative practices. The signing of a BOOT (Build, Own, Operate, Transfer) and sub-usufruct agreement with Vulcan Green Steel in October underscored the port's dedication to fostering long-term partnerships.


Moreover, the port ventured into the realm of decarbonisation by signing agreements with industry giants such as Shell and OPAZ. These collaborations aimed at reducing carbon emissions and exploring sustainable energy solutions align with the port's vision for a greener and more environmentally conscious future.


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