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Port of Salalah committed to mineral strategy of Oman

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Muscat: Port of Salalah, with annual exports of 9 million MT of Gypsum in 2019, is the world’s largest exporter of gypsum and is working on expanding its capacity to meet the future market demand of this commodity as well as limestone exports.

The proximity to prime mining and quarrying locations has enabled the port and the exporters to grow the export volumes. Port of Salalah collaborates closely with the exporters on improving and adding to its portfolio of services. In addition to the deepwater berths of up to 18m of depth that can receive cape-size vessels thereby giving its customers increased flexibility, Port of Salalah has also been investing in new equipment and resources to improve productivity and reliability.

Oman has been blessed with a diverse range of mineral deposits ranging from copper to gypsum and limestone and the government has initiated several measures to unlock the vast opportunities and potential of this sector leveraging its strategic location on the global trade lane and proximity to destinations that have a high demand for these products like India and South East Asia in addition to traditional markets in the Far East.

The Government of Oman has invested and plans to continue investing in logistics infrastructure in the Sultanate to ensure that Oman plays an active role in global commerce and progress its vision.

“Oman is witnessing rapid changes in the year 2020. A reform in the government structure and new legislative laws are opening the opportunity for foreign investments which will lead to increased profits due to economic diversification. The country’s mineral wealth is being realised, thus focusing on investing in the downstream capabilities will increase the business generated from local raw materials. Port of Salalah has an extensive client portfolio and a well-equipped general cargo terminal that caters to the country’s largest mining companies as well as provides services related to importing and exporting raw materials,” stated Mark Hardiman, CEO of Port of Salalah.

Demand for Oman Gypsum continues to be strong for importers in South East Asia and the Far East. A diverse group of mining companies like KunoozGypsum. Global Mining, Dhofar Mining, Zawawi Minerals, Al Jood Natural Resources already operate mines in Dhofar while Majan Mining has a strong presence in Limestone exports.

Scott Watson the Chief Executive Officer of Kunooz Oman Holding commented, “Over the last 5 years I’ve witnessed Gypsum exports grow, making Oman through Salalah Port to world’s biggest exporter of Gypsum.

Combined with Limestone exports, makes Salalah Port the key logistics Hub for exporting both commodities to India, South and South-East Asia, Japan, East Africa and South Africa. Salalah Port is also emerging as the export hub for the value-added business of Limestone, Gypsum Board, and Gypsum Powder.”

Trade and manufacturing have been hugely impacted globally by the pandemic and the same has had an impact on the demand for aggregates in the 2nd quarter of this year. Despite these challenges, the mining companies have managed to recover the volumes in the last quarter and overall gypsum volumes for 2020 are expected to be close to volumes handled in 2019.

Strategically located on the trade crossroads between Asia and Europe and serving the markets of East Africa, the Red Sea, the Indian Subcontinent and the Arabian Gulf – the Port of Salalah is operated by APM Terminals as part of the APM Terminals global terminal network.  The port operates both a container terminal and a general cargo terminal.

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