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Freight corridor to boost Duqm port shipments

Monday, 21 December 2015 | 12:00

A freight corridor is to be developed to connect the Port of Duqm to large regional markets, in a bid to increase the volumes of mineral, container and project cargo shipments.

The project will be carried out as part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Oman Rail Company and Port of Duqm Company (PDC). Additionally, Oman Rail and PDC will develop a rail industry support cluster on Port of Duqm Industrial land.

Port of Duqm Company plans to create a portfolio of competitive port and stevedoring services for Oman Rail contractors and suppliers to facilitate construction of the rail network starting at the port and extending inland.

Abdulrahman Al Hatmi, chief executive officer of Oman Rail, said, “This MoU represents an important milestone for us. It demonstrates the results of our efforts to integrate and utilise the nation’s world-class infrastructure assets to grow our economy.”

“We have made a lot of efforts in working with our colleagues at the Port of Duqm to creatively plan and develop smart products which will lead to a step change in the logistics business model and fully exploit the potential of Oman’s infrastructure assets and natural resources,” Al Hatmi added.

Reggy Vermeulen, PDC’s chief executive officer, noted, “Both companies have been involved in master planning rail access to the port’s facilities to optimise the flow of minerals, containers and project cargo.”

“Port of Duqm will benefit from integrated rail access, as it will cater to our shippers’ demands for high-quality logistics services. We see rail as a key enabler to optimise the movement of project cargo along dedicated corridors to inland oil and gas industrial zones. Having rail access to move large volumes of minerals and containers will promote the port as an attractive investment destination through significantly improving our economies of scale,” he added.

The Oman Rail network will eventually span over 2,000 kilometres across the Sultanate, transporting both freight and passengers. It will connect Oman’s three major deep sea ports to urban and industrial centers to facilitate trade, open communication channels and foster economic development across the Sultanate and beyond.

According to Oman Rail, the national railway network is divided into several segments linking Oman’s borders with the United Arab Emriates to Muscat, as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) railway network, and also to southern parts of the country, including the Port of Duqm, Port of Salalah and the Yemen border.

The railway is double track, non-electrified and designed to serve mixed freight and passenger traffic. Maximum freight train speeds will be 120 km per hour and for passenger trains220 km per hour. The corridor will be designed to handle trains traveling at future speeds of 350 km per hour.
Source: Times of Oman

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