Omani port continues growth
The port of Salalah in Oman has announced another major expansion, boosting the potential of the port's bunker market.
?The new berths will mean more customers,? a spokesman for BP Marine, the port's supplier, told Bunkerworld on Wednesday. Oman's government has signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Port of Salalah for the construction and operation of three new deep-water container berths. It will give the port nine berths totalling 3,555 metres in length.
The first of the new berths is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2011, with the second and third berths scheduled for completion in 2012.
BP Marine currently supplies between 45,000 and 50,000 metric tonnes (mt) of bunker fuel a month, 90% to container ships.
A source close to the market said that, even before the latest announcement, bunker volumes had been expected to rise as three existing berths, which had been under construction, become fully operational.
Gary Lemke, chief executive of the port, said the signing of the MoU showed the government's intention to be at the forefront of regional port development.
Salalah is in southern Oman at the Indian Ocean rim, close to the main shipping route between Asia and Europe. The port is a joint venture between Oman, AP Moller-Maersk Group and Omani investors.
Last year it handled more 2.6 million twenty foot equivalent units (TEU) and 2.8 million mt of bulk and general cargo.
BP Marine inaugurated a $15 million tank farm and bunker terminal at Salalah three years ago, saying it was needed to meet existing demand and projected growth.