Muscat: The Port Services Corporation (PSC), which is going to face a severe fall in revenue due to the imminent shifting of commercial activities of Muscat Port to Sohar, has appointed a Singapore-based consultant — Overseas Port Management (OPM) — to assist the corporation in submitting a bid to the Ministry of Transport and Communications for managing Khasab port, along with its strategic partner.
Port Services Corporation early this year signed a MoU with Iran's Kaveh Port and Marine Services to set up a company that will operate and manage Khasab port in Musandam governorate.
The PSC has also accepted the offer of the Ministry of Transport and Communications to manage and operate the inland port that the Government is planning to develop in the South Al Batinah Logistics Hub in Barka.
"Accordingly, the corporation is undertaking a preliminary study to facilitate an immediate operation of the project as demanded by the concerned authorities," the PSC chairman Mohd Jawad bin Hassan bin Suleiman stated in its first half results.
Thereafter, a detailed feasibility study for the whole project will be carried out. "For this purpose, the corporation intends to sign a memorandum of understanding with a specialised strategic partner who has a world wide experience in the field of ports and logistics management. An international German company has already been selected and negotiations with the company are in the final stage."
The government has confirmed the continuity of PSC, and its objectives will be extended to include the management of integrated logistics solutions in addition to its present activities in the management and operation of ports.
Further, the corporation will carry out the management and operation of the proposed tourism port at Muscat.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has already notified all the port users of the plan to commence migrating of operations of commercial vessel from Port Sultan Qaboos (PSQ) as part of the Government's plan of converting the port into a tourism hub. This plan has already impacted the volume of business with one container line already shifting out of Port Sultan Qaboos from June, 2014.
With the shifting of commercial operations by August 31, only cruise vessels, dhows, passenger vessels as well as naval vessels will continue calling PSQ. In addition, PSQ will continue to receive the grain vessels, bitumen, livestock and fishing trawlers, vegetable oil and cement ships until the end of 2015.
This will adversely affect the corporation due to the significant reduction in its operational income during the forthcoming period.
Meanwhile the consultants, who studied the organisation structure of the corporation, have completed their study and submitted their recommendations. Once their recommendations are approved by the board, approval will be first sought from the shareholders and then from the concerned authorities before implementation.
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