Joint Tank Services (JTS) is to establish a new depot in Sohar Freezone on a 20,000 square metre green-field site. The tailor-made facility will be dedicated to cleaning, storage, repairs and support services for ISO tanks in line with the phenomenal growth of tank container traffic in Sohar Port.
JTS’s service quality and attention to environment, health and safety standards have set the benchmark for the tank container industry in the region.
With the new facility in Sohar, JTS plans not only to consolidate existing services to the tank container industry, but also to expand its portfolio in the future by developing business offerings directly to the chemical industry.
This may include areas such as chemical drumming, warehousing and distribution as the value-added petrochemical industry grows in Sohar. Construction of the new JTS facility is expected to start during second quarter of 2018, subject to approval from the relevant environmental authorities in Oman, and trial operations should be under way by the fourth quarter of 2018.
Sohar Freezone CEO, Jamal Aziz, speaking after the signing of the land lease agreement, said: “Throughput at our Hutchison-managed container terminal has increased threefold in the past five years. As our new Liwa Plastics Project comes on-stream at Sohar, we are going to see phenomenal growth in the petrochemical and downstream plastics industry here, with pursuant growth in the number and complexity of ISO containers being handled through the port. Having specialists like JTS on hand will help to create the kind of world-class cluster we are hoping for, putting Oman on the map as a major plastics producer.”
Tank containers are made to ISO standards of stainless steel, usually surrounded by a protective insulating layer of polyurethane and aluminium. The tanks are mounted in the middle of a steel frame so they can be handled like regular twenty-foot containers. Originally developed in the UK in the 1960s, there are estimated to be upwards of 400,000 ISO tank containers in service in the world at any one time, built to a variety of specifications to transport hazardous and non-hazardous cargoes.