The Port of Salalah expects to issue tender documents for construction work on the $120m expansion of the port’s general container terminal to begin by the end of March.

Construction is expected to start in the third or fourth quarter of 2010, says a source at the port.

The expansion of the general container terminal involves building a further 1,200 metres of multi-purpose berths, a new northern breakwater, facilities for dry-bulk commodities and a new liquids jetty. The expansion will increase capacity at the terminal to 40 million tonnes of dry-bulk commodities and five million tonnes of liquid products each year.

The contract is part of a larger $645m expansion planned by the Port of Salalah. The masterplan will be executed over 20 years.

Aside from the expansion of the general container terminal, other plans involve a $525m expansion of terminal two, which is a container terminal.

The design for terminal two is now complete and construction could start in 2011 depending on the recovery of the global economy, says the source.

Lebanon’s Khatib & Alami and Netherlands-based Royal Haskoning have prepared the designs for terminal two.

The development of terminal two will involve the construction of three deepwater berths, which will increase the port’s container-handling capacity to 9 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) a year.

Further phases of the masterplan will see the container terminal expanded to reach a total quay length of 8km, giving the port a capacity of 15 million TEUs a-year by 2030.