In Muscat, the Port of Duqm has begun shipping export dolomite from the commercial quay. The first vessel, which docked in February, was loaded with three grades of dolomite, the whole shipment amounting to 50,000 tonnes. It later sailed to India.
Dolomite is produced some 30 kilometres from the port, where reserves are estimated to be 300 million tonnes. Of the several hundreds of thousands of tonnes to be produced monthly, the vast majority will be exported via Duqm port.
Port CEO ReggyVermeulen noted,“One of the three major markets that port of Duqm is aiming for is the support of the mineral industry of Oman. This first shipment is a key milestone towards port of Duqm playing a significant role in the diversification of the Omani economy. Having flows of minerals going through the port of Duqm is an enabler for the setting up in the mid-term of a proper mineral related industry cluster offering potentially numerous jobs for Omanis.”
The port is planning to further develop minerals traffic to become a major international export hub for industrial minerals in the next few years. Dolomite, gypsum, silica sand and limestone are just four of a dozen industrial minerals located close by.
The Dry Bulk Terminal could potentially handle up to five million tonnes per annum as part of the port's Phase 1 development. Facilities include 300 metres of berth line, allowing the simultaneously handling of up to two large bulk carriers.
The Special Economic Zone Authority at Duqm (SEZAD) will also make use of these easily available minerals, whose use will grow once a new gas pipeline from central Oman allows this fuel to be used as of 2018.