The general cargo terminal at Salalah port in Oman handled 764,000 tonnes of cargo in May, the largest ever volume handled since the port began operating in 1998.

The terminal also handled 267,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) in May. The cargo terminal has seen double-digit growth every year for more than a decade. The volume handled in May is 31 per cent higher than that handled in May 2010.

The largest growing exports from the terminal include limestone and gypsum, which now account for 58 per cent of total exports. This is attributed to an increasing demand for minerals from the subcontinent and Oman has some of the highest-grade minerals as natural resources.

“This year-on-year growth of bulk cargo serves to demonstrate the strength of the national economy, and its resilience to the recession, as well as Salalah’s excellent geographical location,which is well suited to grow all types of industry and cargo types,” says Peter Ford, chief executive of the Port of Salalah.

The port is likely to experience further growth going forward as it is planning a $645m expansion that will be carried out over a period of 20 years (MEED 7:9:10). This includes an expansion of the general cargo terminal.