Sohar Industrial Port Company expects to complete feasibility and technical studies for a grain terminal at the the port’s freezone by the end of March.

“Technical studies for it [grain terminal] are currently being developed. We expect to make a decision to move forward in quarter one this year,” said Jamal Aziz, deputy chief executive officer of Sohar Industrial Port Company. He was speaking at MEED’s Middle East Ports 2010 conference in Dubai on 1 February.

A jetty for dry-bulk cargo is currently being built at the port by a joint venture of Italian firm Saipem and India’s Afcons.

The project involves the construction of a 600-metre-long jetty and a new harbour basin. It will be used to serve a pelletising plant and iron ore distribution centre that is being built by Brazilian mining company Vale (MEED 02:08:09).

The plant is scheduled for completion at the end of 2010, said Aziz.

The Port of Sohar should benefit from a freight railway planned for the country. Aziz said the government is reviewing the feasibility studies and masterplan for the rail line, and should make a decision on the project by the end of 2010. The railway will connect Sohar with Barka and Buraimi.