Growing numbers of local and international companies are setting up operations in specially created zones earmarked for industrial and logistics activities within the concession area of Port of Duqm on Oman’s Al Wusta coast.
According to a top official of the maritime gateway, which anchors the sprawling Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Duqm, investments have picked up pace in the 1,000-hectare Logistics Zone as well as the 3,000-hectare Industrial Zone that form part of the port’s sizable concession.
Reggy Vermeulen, CEO, said the investment inflows into the two zones, as well the start-up of activities within these lands, were largely in trend with the pace of implementation of mega ventures under way in the adjoining SEZ.
In an interview to Duqm Economist, the quarterly newsletter focusing on Duqm SEZ, Vermulen noted that as many as 24 companies have so far leased land within the Logistics Zone administered by the port. The list includes prominent players such as Tristar, Rezayat, Al Madina Logistics, Mammout and Duqm Ahlia, all of which currently operate from a 65-hectare site fully leased by the port for logistics activities.
In the Industrial Zone – an area earmarked for all kinds of heavy-to-light industrial investments – a total of 16 companies have set up operations so far. They include investments in concrete batching plants, steel fabrication yards and other facilities designed to provide support services to contractors and project developers behind a number of large-scale infrastructure, industrial and petrochemical ventures underway in the SEZ.
Underpinning the appeal of the Logistics and Industrial zones is their proximity to Duqm Port’s 2.2 kilometre-long commercial berth, which is currently being readied for multipurpose cargo handling, said the CEO.
“The Port’s logistics land, covering a total area of about 1000ha, acts as an extension of the (limited) yard capabilities at the port itself. It offers a clear opportunity for logistics clients requiring proximity to the Port and its terminals and developing their various activities in this area, like warehouses, open yards, container freight stations, parking areas, and so on,” Vermeulen noted.
“Also, industrial clients may require such proximity to the Port, as the imports of raw materials and re-export of finished goods require optimal logistics in order to remain competitive in an international market. The Port has approximately 3000 ha of medium-heavy, heavy and petrochemical industrial land under its custody, which it markets to its local and international clientele,” he stated.
Next in the port’s sights are foreign direct investments that seek to exploit Duqm’s strategic geographical location as a “springboard” to target international markets, he added.