• November 30, 2014

SOHAR celebrates success at the 2014 International Bulk Journal Awards

SOHAR has capped what has been a record-breaking year by winning one of the most coveted awards in the maritime bulk industry. The International Bulk Journal Awards offer companies the chance to recognise excellence among their peers, and Executive Commercial Manager Edwin Lammers was on hand to receive the 2014 Safety in Bulk Handling Award at a glittering gala at the Beurs-World Trade Centre in Rotterdam.


Image: Edwin Lammers receiving the Safety in Bulk Cargo Handling Award from Morten Lovstad, DNVGL

As sponsor of the Environment Protection Award, Mr Lammers also presented an IBJ award to UAE shipping company, Emarat Maritime. This award acknowledges organisations that make a noteworthy contribution to reducing pollution in and around dry bulk ports and the world’s oceans, and is awarded based on concept, implementation, and impact. After, Mr Lammers spoke about what the award means to SOHAR.


Image: Edwin Lammers announcing the winner of the Environment Protection Award 

“It is an honour to able to receive the 2014 Safety in Bulk Handling Award on behalf of my colleagues and the businesses that have made SOHAR Port and Freezone what it is today. It amazing to think of what we have achieved over the last twelve months, and this awards reflects a sensational period in our history.”

“A tremendous amount of work has gone into maintaining the safety of our bulk operations at an especially critical time for our business. From receiving the first 10,000 TEU ship and the transfer of commercial traffic from Muscat, to coordinating complex lease agreements among global joint ventures and accommodating double digit growth across all cargo types, this process has not been without its challenges. Nevertheless, our aim remains to create a world-class logistics hub and freezone right here in Oman,” said Mr. Lammers.


Image: Edwin Lammers presented Environment Protection Award for Marine to Emarat Maritime, United Arab Emirates

SOHAR is one of the world’s largest port and freezone development sites and has followed up investments totalling US$21 billion with remarkable bulk growth indicators. Equipped with deep-water jetties capable of handling some of the world’s largest ships, it experienced exceptionally strong growth of 37 percent in dry bulk cargo in recent years, rising to 26 million tonnes annually. As a result, dry bulk cargo accounts for over half of the 50 million tonnes of cargo handled at SOHAR, while liquid and other bulk continue to increase.

The next step for the company will be to build Oman’s first terminal dedicated to grain and other foodstuffs at SOHAR. The terminal will be managed by Atyab Investment and Oman Flour Mills, and will be linked to the construction of grain silos with a capacity of 200,000 tonnes, as well as a sugar refinery that is projected to generate 1 million tonnes in raw sugar imports. Construction is expected to commence early next year.

“The growth of bulk cargo is noteworthy since the main contributors – Brazilian iron ore giant Vale, Indian steelmaker Jindal Steel & Power, and Sohar Aluminium, only began operations after the last recession. Still, the manufacturing of primary products is having a knock-on effect on industries and lowering dependence on imports. The agricultural terminal is also expected to improve food security,” explained Mr Lammers.


Image: Edwin Lammers presented Environment Protection Award for Cargo Handling to AustraliaRam Spreaders and Patrick Ports and Stevedoring, Australia

Having joined SOHAR in 2009, Mr. Lammers is part of a long-serving management team that has witnessed the port muscle its way into the world top 100 ports following the completion of a US$130 million project that increased container capacity to 1.5 million TEU. Heading up the management team at Oman’s premier port are former Maersk Central Europe and current SOHAR CEO, Andre Toet, and SOHAR Freezone CEO Jamal Aziz, who expressed their delight at the news SOHAR had won the ‘Safety in Bulk Handling Award’.

“Receiving an IBJ award is a great endorsement of how others view our operations, and we are delighted to win an award for safety in bulk handling. There is a great unity developing among an exceptional group of people at SOHAR and it is nice to see their hard work getting the recognition it deserves,” said Mr. Toet.

SOHAR was launched in 2002 as a joint venture between the Port of Rotterdam and the Sultanate of Oman, with the concession area expanded to include a 45 million square metre freezone site in 2009. Investments have been secured at a remarkable average of US$39 dollars every second over the last twelve years.