Duqm Port to generate over 15000 direct jobs

The Port of Duqm Company (PDC) recently successfully commenced early operations. Its employees conducted their first cargo-handling operations that involved project cargo. Ten out of the 45 new Omani employees of the port participated in a rigorous early operation at the port a few days ago.
After having received hours of hands-on lessons in manoeuvring and operating the variety of equipment, the team passed out with flying colours. The knowledge and skill transfer was facilitated by specialist team dock work trainers and trainers from the Port of Antwerp. The aim of the company is to align their national human resources with its business strategy. To commence these current levels of operations, Port of Duqm’s operational quality and safety management systems were required to be of an exemplary standard and meet all statutory parameters.
PDC is expected to generate 15,000 direct jobs through different port-related companies and 30,000 indirect jobs through services and industries attracted by the port.
“We have set high standards to excel in all we do, which include hiring the most talented people to maintain our facilities and achieve our goals. We aspire to be the leader among our peers in transportation safety and security, customer service and environmental management, said Bruno Van Begin – Operations Director and Sr Design Review Engineer – Port of Duqm Company SAOC.
Port of Duqm strives to bring a culture of continuous learning and improvement. “All our employees are Omanis and the learning and development programmes have been tailor made to equip them with skills that facilitate self-development and knowledge. These programmes include in-house professional development seminars as well as access to various external training and educational programmes,” said Amal Thani al Sinani – Head of Training and Development.
A wide variety of career management skills, computer instruction, health and safety, customer service, technical training and management development classes are going to be offered on-site throughout the year and a number of programmes are provided by partnering with subject matter experts from departments throughout the Port.
“Our Training and Organisational Development Department within Human Resources manages the learning and development programme and administers the process and other job related assistance,” she added.
PDC — one of the fastest growing companies in the country – was formed as a Joint Venture between the Government of the Sultanate of Oman and Consortium Antwerp Port, Belgium to co-invest, operate and manage the port and industrial zone. Port of Duqm and The Consortium Antwerp Port collaborate in the areas of training and consultancy services, port planning, traffic flow, quality and productivity improvement and is expected to build a mutually beneficial commercial relationship based on mutual business and investment preferences.
Port of Duqm was conceptualized to provide ship to shore handling and logistics support for the upcoming Industrial Zone. The infrastructure of the Port of Duqm Company has been constructed according to top line infrastructure technology. The port's 9.6 kms of breakwater, 2.25 kms commercial berth for project cargo, bulk and containers has been completed and a roughly 1km long quay wall for government vessels is nearing completion. A water depth of —19 metres in the approach channel and —18 metres at the commercial berths allows safe reception and handling of ships with capacities of up to 150,000 DWT.
The Port is expected to be complete by the end 2014 but early operations have already attracted clients from the gas and oil fields in central Oman for various types of heavy and light cargo. On completion the port will offer a modern Post-Panamax berth (with 60 foot depth). An RO 1.6 billion government-funded expansion is ongoing through mid-2015 and will result in the Port having annual container capacity of up to 3,500,000 TEUs as well as the necessary basic infrastructure.
PDC's partner, Port of Antwerp, is one of the largest players in Europe. With a proven international track record, it brings in a lot of experience and expertise. It boasts a high level of synergy between maritime, logistical and industrial activities and a high cargo-generating capacity. The location of the port of Antwerp, about 80 kilometres inland, not only places the port in one of the busiest consumer centers in Europe, but also makes transport to the European hinterland more efficient and more sustainable. Its multi-functionality delivers added value to the city of Duqm, to the Al Wusta region and the Sultanate of Oman.
Duqm, which was once a basic fishing town is now the centre of attention with one of the country's most important and ambitious development project, the Port of Duqm, being undertaken here. It is all set to become the largest economic zone in the region and is expected to attract Foreign Direct Investment of $6-8 billion in the next five years.
Apart from allowing easy access to oil and gas fields, the area is rich in various minerals also. This will become the focus for mining and its associated industries. Thousands of jobs and myriad industries will contribute to the area's economy. The Government has made sure that this Special Economic Zone will have a world-class infrastructure and state of the art facilities. In the long-term it will make a significant impact on the efforts to diversify Oman’s economy in line with Vision 2020. With phase 1 of commercial development almost over, the Port of Duqm is steady on its course to become the Gateway of the Gulf.z