The ports directorate of the Transport Ministry is in discussions with the Dutch group APM Terminals with which it jointly runs the port.

The two will introduce revenue-based concessions for their customers, moving away from the current fixed-rate rental structure.

The new structure is expected to be in place by the end of the year.

The move is common at international ports that have matured into stronger businesses. By taking a share of customers’ revenues rather than charging a flat fee, operators also share their risk and are subject to the same fluctuations in trade.

Officials now believe Salalah is a strong enough business to justify the transition. In December last year, the Dutch group Royal Haskoning was appointed to act as consultant on the design and construction of berths seven, eight and nine at the site (MEED 5:12:08).