News & Events

November, 2017

Why safety always comes first in SOHAR

·  SOHAR simulated lifelike emergency scenarios in the port last week

· Training builds multidisciplinary response and coordination

· Government and private responders build close and effective teams

When smoke billowed out of a truck loaded with chemicals in SOHAR Port late last week the people observing it were not panicking, but were instead making careful notes on their clipboards. They were professional observers taking part in a so-called Multidisciplinary Tier 2 Field Exercise in coordination with Safety Region Rotterdam, SOHAR Port’s strategic partner for safety management.

The incident was a very lifelike simulation of a complex situation that included a truck on fire loaded with chemicals, multiple injuries, and civilians trapped on the roof of a burning building. The first responders included teams from the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance (PACDA), Royal Oman Police, Orpic, Vale Oman, SIUCI, OMC, Jindal Shadeed, Larsen & Toubro, Oman PESCo, as well as local volunteer diving teams.

Organised regularly by the Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) team at SOHAR Port and Freezone, crisis management exercises like these aim to build closer cooperation in the field between Oman government resources like PACDA, and the various private companies located in SOHAR Port and Freezone. Many of the tenant companies in the port support their own emergency response fire and ambulance teams. Regular training is the only way to ensure a smooth response, should a genuine emergency ever arise at SOHAR, when lives are at stake and every second counts.

After a professional post-event debriefing session, Mark Geilenkirchen, SOHAR CEO, commented: “In a port like SOHAR, we’re confronted with a great many combustible materials and chemicals which didn’t even exist just a few decades ago. Modern fires tend to burn hotter and faster and our response crews need to not only understand a great deal of science, but must also work together closely in order to fight them correctly. Field training simulations like this one help to ensure that we can protect the many thousands of people working directly here in the port and living in our surrounding communities. Safety is and always will be our overriding priority at SOHAR.” ENDS

Note to editors about SOHAR Port and Freezone

SOHAR Port and Freezone is a deep sea port and free zone in the Middle East, situated in the Sultanate of Oman midway between Dubai and Muscat. With current investments of US$26 billion, it is one of the world's fastest growing port and free zone developments and lies at the centre of global trade routes between Europe and Asia. SOHAR provides unequalled access to the fast diversifying economies of the Gulf and Iran, while avoiding the additional costs of passing through the Strait of Hormuz. The existing road network and airport and the future rail system provide direct connectivity to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, as well as to the rest of the world. Equipped with deep-water jetties capable of handling the world’s largest ships, SOHAR has leading global partners that operate its container, dry bulk, liquid and gas terminals including Hutchison, C. Steinweg, Oiltanking, and Svitzer. SOHAR Port and Freezone is managed by Sohar Industrial Port Company (SIPC), a joint venture between Port of Rotterdam and the Sultanate of Oman. soharportandfreezone.com