Applications for prequalification were submitted on 16 August for the two main contracts on the project to rehabilitate and expand Salalah port. India’s Consulting Engineering Servicesis the consultant to the client, the Transport & Communications Ministry.

Both the dredging and the berth construction contracts attracted 16 applications, with 11 companies applying to prequalify for both packages. The first of the two contracts calls for dredging and reclamation for two new container berths and the construction of a 2.5-kilometre breakwater. The second covers the construction of the new container berths and associated works. The $280 million port expansion project has increased in cost considerably since it was first proposed due to long delays. However, it has attracted concessionary funding from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.

The port is privately operated by Salalah Port Services, a joint venture between the government and Denmark’s AP Moller. Throughput reached 2 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2003 and is expected to receive a further boost when the adjacent free zone becomes operational. The delayed free zone project received a new lease of life in July with the appointment of a general manager charged with drawing up a new business plan (MEED 23:7:04).