Oman’s Port of Salalah achieved a net profit of RO4.5m ($11.6m) for 2009, compared to RO4.2m the previous year, according to a spokesman for the port.

The port also recorded an increase in productivity in 2009. It managed to attain more than 30 container movements an hour throughout the fourth quarter of the year. The port expects increased productivity to continue throughout 2010.

The increase in profit may be attributed to a number of cost-cutting measures and savings made in administrative and manpower expenses, says the spokesman.

Demand in the regional trans-shipment industry is gradually improving after the Middle East saw a 6.3 per cent drop in trade in 2009 as a knock-on effect from the global financial downturn.

With the market now stabilising, Port of Salalah is working on the execution of a $645m masterplan to further develop facilities at the port.

This masterplan will be carried out in phases and is scheduled to be fully complete by 2029.

The Port of Salalah expects to issue tender documents for construction work on the $120m expansion of the port’s general container terminal by the end of March (MEED 28:2:10).