Three companies bid for the contract in April and the race came down to a contest between APM and Hong Kong’s Hutchison Port Holdings. ‘We hope to finalise the contract by November,’ says APM chief executive officer Kim Fejfer. The financial terms of the original invitation to bid obliged the successful operator to invest BD 25 million ($65.9 million) over the course of the contract.

A team of KPMG, Trowers & Hamlinsand Australia’s Meyrickis advising the government on the privatisation process. APM’s other interests in the region are a 30 per cent stake in the operating company for Salalah port and a two-year contract to manage Aqaba port container terminal (MEED 19:3:04).