• February 28, 2015

Oman’s premier logistics hub returns to London at shipping fuel conference

SOHAR Port and Freezone, one of the world’s largest port development sites and joint venture with Port of Rotterdam, showcased the growing number of benefits on offer to global shipping fuel industries in Oman. A team of delegates from Oman showcased the logistics hubs’ LNG, marine fuel, and other business credentials at Bunker Lunch 2015, one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the marine fuels calendar.

Last year, SOHAR sponsored the Fifth Annual Bunker Lunch held at Oxo Tower on the banks for the River Thames, and the port authority returned to sponsor this year’s event, as it seeks to capitalise on investment of US$21 billion and attract more of the world’s marine fuel industries to its strategic location outside of the Strait of Hormuz. Lower shipping costs and the ease of doing business in Oman were a central message.

Oman is ranked 66th in terms of ease of doing business, ahead of China and India and not far behind Italy, and Luxembourg. Our one-stop-shop has made doing business at SOHAR even easier, while we also benefit from some of the most competitive land and energy rates in the region. Our position outside of the Strait of Hormuz means that our bunker suppliers are also ideally situated to be able serve the non-captive ships on their way in and out of the Gulf,” explained SOHAR Executive Commercial Manager, Edwin Lammers.

Having muscled its way into the world’s top 100 ports last year, Mr Lammers explained that in addition to developing traditional fuel supplies that confirm with the latest IMO regulations, the introduction of ship-to-ship LNG services are an indication of what lies ahead and affirm that SOHAR has its eyes on the future.

“In just a few short years, we have attracted many of the biggest names in the shipping industry – shipping lines, terminal operators, and service providers. Last year we welcomed a record 2,000th ship in a calendar year, which represents a 4,700 percent leap from the 42 ships that called in 2004. We also saw 58 percent growth in containers, 51 percent growth in break bulk, and a near-doubling of roro throughput; and with more ships scheduled to call in 2015, maintaining our first-class fuel supplies will be the key to the future.”

“As we do so, we are committed to developing traditional fuel supplies that meet the highest international standards. However, our mandate also includes supporting the diversification of the Omani economy, and as such, we continue to explore options when it comes to research and development into LNG supplies.”

Bunker is the name given to the fuel used to operate ships and the term bunkering is the supply of that fuel. Shell Oman Marketing Company SAOG, Omanoil Matrix Marine Service Company LLC, a joint venture between Matrix Marine Holding of Germany, and Oman Oil Marketing Company are the official suppliers of bunker to SOHAR. The port is also home to an innovative joint venture between Germany’s Oiltanking and Norway’s Odjfell, bringing together some of the world’s leading minds in fuel storage and transportation.

Bunker Lunch 2015 is organised by Bunkerworld, an independent online publication for senior managers in the marine and energy sector. The 2015 lunch will be held at Oxo Tower Breasserie, London, on 9 February and will be attended by ship owners, operators, managers; marine fuel suppliers, traders, and charterers.