(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Commercial activity at Port Sultan Qaboos (PSQ) will be completely shifted to Sohar by August this year, which is the deadline that authorities have set for maritime companies to make the switch. Meanwhile, several maritime firms including Maersk Line, Safmarine, Hyundai Merchant Marine and Oman Container Lines have already announced the timelines for their move to Sohar.
PSQ will get a makeover with the expected development of high-end marina and hotel facilities, in its new focus on tourism and as a leisure destination. The development will follow the blueprints of already established and historic ports such as Cape Town, London and New York.
Muscat Daily had earlier in May 2013 reported the approval of the masterplan for the development of Port Sultan Qaboos as a tourist hub by H E?Dr Ahmed bin Salim al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications.
Meanwhile, Sohar Port and Freezone has seen US15bn worth of development in a bid to transform the area into a commercial hub, including an expected rail network to increase transport links.
The relocation and expansion of the Oman International Container Terminal has increased container capacity to 1.5mn TEUs. Other investments will take place in the Expanded Petrochemical Cluster through Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries (Orpic) as well as parent company, Oman Oil Company.
A combined capital investment of around US6.5bn is set to take place over five years.
Sohar Port chief executive Andre Toet was quoted in a press release by Sohar Port and Freezone as saying, ''Investment and growth go hand in hand at Sohar Port and Freezone. We are delighted to be working with some of the biggest and most recognised global names in the shipping industry. We have a strategy in place that will encourage growth and investment for years to come.''
Jamal Aziz, CEO, Sohar Freezone added, ''We're now ready for anything; we've been working towards this momentous occasion for many years and look forward to a bright and prosperous future with many new partners.''<