Global firms eye Salalah Port expansion project

Salalah PortSalalah Port is operated and managed by Salalah Port Services, a joint venture that includes APM Terminals (30 per cent), Omani government (20 per cent), local private sector investors, government pension funds and investors on the Muscat Securities Market. (Image source: Port of Salalah)International engineering consultancy firms are looking to bid for a contract to study and design Phase 3 expansion of Port of Salalah on behalf of Oman’s Ministry of Transport and Communications

Three new container berths, new government berths, dedicated cruise terminal, expanded breakwater arms and a new approach channel are planned for implementation as part of the expansion, Oman Daily Observer has reported.

Touted to be the largest upgrade since the port came into operation in 1998, the Phase 3 expansion is expected to cost several hundred million dollars to implement, experts have said.

Given the scope and scale of these initiatives, the proposed upgrade is expected to reinforce the gateway’s ability to attract new mainline carriers to Salalah, thereby strengthening its position in the rankings of the world’s largest transshipment hubs.

According to officials, the most significant component of the upgrade is the expansion of the existing container terminal through the design and implementation of Quays 7, 8 and 9 each of about 450-metre length and about 500 metres wide. The berths, which add a further 1,350 metres of quay wall to the port's existing 2,500-metre-long quay length, will be equipped with the backland infrastructure to support modern, efficient container terminal operations. Also as part of its brief, the selected bidder will design and oversee the implementation of a roughly 3.7-km-long North Breakwater whose primarily function is to protect the existing and future berths against long-wave energy responsible for moored vessel motion.

Additionally, the North Breakwater will support the establishment of a platform featuring a 1.2-km-long berth to accommodate cruise ships as well as government vessels. Moreover, the breakwater will enable the construction of a marina at its root, while also serving as a physical barrier separating the secured port zone from the adjacent surrounding areas.

There is also the proposed construction of a roughly 800-metre-long extension to the existing South Breakwater. As with the North Breakwater, the southern extension will be designed to protect the existing and future berths against long-wave energy. The initiative will also help reduce swells along the liquid bulk jetties and existing container berths.
A new approach 300-metre-wide channel will be created to the expanded port that will be dredged to a depth of 19 metres and designed to accommodate two traffic lanes. Additionally, the selected consultant will design and oversee the dredging of a new turning basin (north basin), and various access channels to the Phase 3 expansion berths, and the berthing areas.

A host of new structures and facilities are also envisioned for design and implementation as part of the Phase 3 expansion. They include the construction of a roughly 300-metre-long stub breakwater to be constructed perpendicular to the North Breakwater to protect the government and cruise berths against locally generated waves and other waves diffracting into the port from the harbour entrance.

Furthermore, the consultancy services contract calls for the design of new berths for tugboats and pilot boats, along with all other associated landside infrastructure. A marina for small crafts will also be designed at a suitable site chosen on the basis of a study to be carried out by the consultant.

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