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Port of Salalah announces $300 million container handling expansion

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OMAN : The Port of Salalah has announced that it’s $300 million expansion plan is on track, aiming to expand annual container handling capacity from 5 million to 6 million TEU by the end of the year. In spite of the major upgrades that began last year, the firm was able to preserve its excellent port stay record for shipping lines.

The World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence issued the 2023 Container Port Performance Index (CPPI) this month, and the Port of Salalah maintains its position as the world’s second most efficient container port for the third year in a row.

Scott Selman, Chief Operations Officer at Port of Salalah, said: “We expect these cranes to help us reduce port stay even further by giving us faster access to top tiers on the ship. They will also increase our capacity to bring in the world’s largest ships built to date – fulfilling a need for our customers and giving us an opportunity to handle more volume.”

The first four new ship-to-shore (STS) cranes, which arrived in February of this year, are already being tested for operational readiness and are expected to add to terminal productivity by August.

Two more cranes are currently being commissioned. Four smaller cranes have been retired, bringing the port’s crane count from 21 to 27 at the end of the year.

The new fully electric cranes are reportedly among the world’s largest of their kind, setting new benchmarks for size and efficiency. They can handle vessels 26 containers deep, with a lifting height of 58 metres above the rail and a total hoist height of 77 metres (including below the rail).

With a maximum lifting capability of 105 tonnes, they can serve the biggest Ultra Large Container Vessels (ULCV) in use.

Additional equipment to support the expansion includes 12 hybrid rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) cranes, two reach stackers, six empty handlers, and 30 terminal trucks and trailers. The increased capacity will enable the port to satisfy the needs of the Gemini Cooperation Centre, which is scheduled to commence operations in Q1 2025.

In May, the Port of Salalah developed multi-modal service alternatives to offer a feasible alternative to the time-consuming and more expensive re-routing around the Cape of Good Hope.

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