Oman’s Duqm port is to have a soft opening on 10 March with 300 metres of quay wall becoming operational.

The berths will be used for project cargo and break-bulk.

It is part of a gradual roll-out to be carried out until the commercial quay is fully operational in 2015. The roll-out began last year with the opening of the dry-dock.

By 2015, 2,200m of quay wall is expected to be completed.

As the Omani government works to meet its 2015 deadline, several tenders related to the expansion of the port facilities, the construction of the surrounding special economic zone and the connecting roads are expected to be issued this year.

“I can tell you that 2013 will definitely be a tender year in order to have everything ready by 2015,” says Reggy Vermeulen, commercial director at Port of Duqm Company.

One project to be tendered this year involves the construction of a major liquid terminal at the port. A design-and-build contract is due to be tendered later this year. The terminal will handle the exports and imports of a proposed refinery to be built within the economic zone that will have a capacity of 230,000 barrels a day.

The liquid terminal must be tendered this year in order to be ready for operation by the set deadline of 2017.

The target for the opening of the first refinery and oil quays within the economic zone is set for 2015, while the logistics zone is set to open by 2014.