Oman's Sohar Port and Freezone aims to develop the world’s first self-sustaining freezone cluster - an ambitious facility that will serve as a hub for innovation at the industrial port, said a report.
The proposed Sohar Innovation Zone will create its own energy from renewable resources, recycle its waste, and will serve as an incubator for initiatives designed to bolster the efficiency of the port’s existing tenants.
Significantly, the Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest maritime hub and a 50 per cent partner in the Port of Sohar joint venture, will be playing a major role in the conceptualisation and development of the facility, stated the report, citing a senior official.
"We will be looking to create more synergies between our port and freezone and especially developing the freezone as a hub for innovation," remarked Mark Geilenkirchen, CEO of Sohar Port and Freezone.
"This will include a scheme that aims to create better use of resources between the port and freezone’s existing tenants and those looking to set up business. For example, where one company produces steam as a waste product, another may actually need steam for its own industrial processes," he explained.
According to him, the port and freezone will be operating the Innovation Zone as an ideas factory.
"Working in close co-operation with the Port of Rotterdam, it will try to ﬁnd innovative ways to solve tomorrow’s logistical problems," he stated.
He pointed out that sustainability will be a key theme of the futuristic project.
A solar park will cater to the power needs of various commercial, manufacturing and logistics businesses operating at the hub, noted Geilenkirchen.
“From innovative ways to track containers and their loads moving between our port and freezone; through the use of 3D metal printing to create high quality industrial parts onsite; to the world’s ﬁrst self-sustaining Freezone logistics cluster, at Sohar we ﬁrmly believe that everything is possible,” he added.