First cranes arrive as part of USD 300 million Port of Salalah expansion

First cranes arrive as part of USD 300 million Port of Salalah expansion

As part of its USD 300 million container terminal upgrade and expansion project, the Port of Salalah received the first four of 10 new ZPMC ship-to-shore cranes this month. Once the project is completed in the first quarter of 2025, annual capacity at the terminal will increase from 5 million to 6 million TEU.  With this increased capacity the Port of Salalah will be a key hub for the region. 

Strategically located on the major East-West Shipping Lane, the Port of Salalah is viewed as one of the region's best located ports for access to the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and East Africa.  

The new fully electric cranes are among the largest equipment of their kind in the world and set new standards in terms of size and efficiency. With a 75 m outreach - longer than an Airbus A380 plane - they can handle vessels 26 containers deep. A lifting height of 58 m above the rail and 77 m total hoist height (including below rail) and a rated capacity under spreader of 65 tonnes mean they are capable of serving the largest Ultra Large Container Vessels currently in operation.  

Industry-leading efficiency 

The Port of Salalah was already ranked as the second most efficient container port in the world for the second year in a row in the 2023 Container Ports Performance Index (CPPI). This new equipment, combined with the ongoing implementation of Lean practices to shave precious seconds and minutes off each activity, is expected to raise levels of efficiency even further and offer industry leading port stay times.

A further six cranes are due for arrival in the second quarter of this year. Replacing four lower specification cranes, the total of 10 new cranes will increase the number of ship-to-shore cranes at the terminal to 27. 

The upgrade is being implemented by by APM Terminals Project Execution together with APM Terminals Asset Engineering and APM Terminals Crane & Engineering Services. It includes upgrades to all six existing berths and expansion of the yard. In addition to the new ship-to-shore cranes, planned new equipment include 12 electric Rubber Tyred Gantry (RTG) Cranes, two Reach Stackers, three electric empty container handlers and 30 trucks and trailers. 

Infrastructure upgrade will support decarbonisation 

The Port of Salalah is responsible for the supporting civil and IT infrastructure, including building a new access road, and new power distribution substation. This will support the terminal’s ambitious decarbonisation goals, through the switch to hybrid and battery electric container handling equipment. APM Terminals has made an industry-leading global commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2040.  

The first new cranes are planned to be operational by March this year, quickly followed by six further cranes and RTGs in the third quarter. APM Terminals has a wealth of experience in minimising disruption to shipping lines and landside customers during terminal upgrades – most recently in Mumbai and Los Angeles - and the terminal will remain fully operational during the entire process.