Tourism projects construction resumed in Oman
The Al-Sawda Island Tourism Project in Dhofar Governorate has resumed construction after a hiatus of several years. The project is on track and is scheduled to open in December 2026. This ambitious project aims to foster sustainable social development on a secluded island, designed to provide unparalleled privacy and exclusivity for each visitor. It will feature luxurious hotel suites approaching seven-star standards, nestled amidst a breathtaking landscape that seamlessly blends natural beauty with refined luxury. Nestled within the Dhofar Governorate, Al-Sawda Island forms part of the Kuriya Muriya archipelago of five islands, namely (Halaniya, Al-Sawda, Qabila, Gharzooni, and Hasik). It falls under the administrative purview of the Wilayat of Shaleem and Halaniyat Islands.
The coveted concession for the development and revitalization of the island was granted to local developer Muriya, a partnership of Egypt-based Orascom and Omran Group of the Sultanate of Oman. The company envisions transforming the island into a marine tourism haven, featuring a boutique five-star hotel with 32 lavish chalets equipped with private swimming pools and exclusive beachfront access for resort guests. The project will also encompass a range of amenities and services designed to revitalize the island and its neighboring counterparts, fostering a vibrant hub of tourism and recreation. Characterized by its rugged terrain and scattered sandy beaches, Al-Sawda Island offers breathtaking vistas of the Indian Ocean, creating an idyllic setting for a luxurious tourist retreat. To reach this enchanting destination, visitors can embark on a scenic boat journey or utilize the island's well-equipped port facilities.
The project comprises 57 villa suites, along with a selection of captivating restaurants and lounges, a diving center, and comprehensive hotel facilities. It is committed to providing world-class services and amenities while adhering to the principles of environmental sustainability. The project's remote location, situated 220 kilometers east of Salalah and 60 kilometers from the coast of Hasik, necessitates the establishment of logistical hubs to facilitate the transportation of raw materials between the site and the surrounding areas. The difficulties associated with stabilizing the workforce on-site and ensuring their living needs, particularly given the presence of approximately 400 workers currently involved in the project. The island's unique status as a sanctuary for the environment and wildlife demands the adoption of environmentally friendly construction materials and practices to minimize human intervention and preserve the delicate ecosystem.
The seasonal limitations posed by the rough seas during the autumn period, which restrict construction activities to eight months of the year, potentially hindering the timely delivery of essential materials. The project's grand scale is poised to stimulate economic activity and trade within the governorates of Dhofar, fostering a vibrant and prosperous business environment. The project's role in empowering small and medium-sized enterprises, which serve as the bedrock of Oman's economic development.
Agreement signed for the development of a liquid hydrogen route in Oman
Oman's Ministry of Energy and Minerals and Hydrogen Oman (Hydrom) signed a Joint Study Agreement (JSA) with Port of Amsterdam, Zenith Energy Terminals and GasLog for the development of a liquid hydrogen route to market for green hydrogen produced in the Sultanate. The Agreement entails conducting a detailed assessment of the requirements to develop an open-access hydrogen liquefaction, storage and export facility in Oman, along with the provision of specialised vessels for the transportation of the liquid hydrogen, currently under development by GasLog. The primary aim of the Agreement is to establish a green hydrogen corridor between the Sultanate and the Netherlands, with the terminal of Zenith Energy as the destination for the import, regasification and further distribution of Oman-produced hydrogen to both local offtakers within the port of Amsterdam, as well as large industries in the European hinterland.
The open-access liquefaction facility will also enable Oman to explore cost effective hydrogen export corridors to other global markets. It will also unlock great potential for recently awarded projects by Hydrom, offering liquid hydrogen as a viable vector that can be utilised by individual projects for export. Liquefying gaseous hydrogen, shipping of liquid hydrogen and regasification at the destination port is a mode of energy transportation successfully used by the LNG industry. Leveraging the works undertaken by the 'Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain Project', which designed and built the Suiso Frontier, the world's first liquid hydrogen vessel, the partners under this Agreement will aim to develop an energy efficient and zero carbon emission, liquid hydrogen handling chain, which can safely, efficiently and cost effectively deliver commercial quantities of Oman's green hydrogen to international markets well before 2030.
Plans underway to launch second sustainable ecolodge in Oman
GCC-based luxury ecolodge company ENVI Lodges has signed an agreement with a consortium of Omani investors to develop ENVI Al Sifah, its second property in the Sultanate. The new eco-retreat, nestled on the shores of Al Sifah, follows the company's announcement in October of its debut project in the Sultanate with mountain ecolodge ENVI Al Jabel Al Akhdar. ENVI Al Sifah is set to open in late 2025 and will feature 40 luxury sea-view tents created by Tenthouse Structures.
Construction underway for first green hydrogen ready steel plant in Oman
Construction of Vulcan Green Steel's (VGS) plant - the Sultanate of Oman's first green-hydrogen-ready steel project has commenced. The plant, located in the Duqm Special Economic Zone, aims to be powered entirely using green and renewable energy, and will produce 5 million metric tonnes per annum (5 MTPA) of green steel. The project aims to produce 5 million tonnes of green steel with an investment of up to $3 billions. The significance of this project is paramount as it will produce steel for the automotive sector, electrical tools sector, and also the wind turbine sector. The Authority is currently in discussions with buyers in European and Asian markets. The project will use natural gas in the first phase pending the availability and supply of green hydrogen to the site. Following the first year of the project, the plant will slowly reduce its reliance on natural gas by a rate of 50% until the project becomes green entirely. Scheduled for completion by 2026 and with production starting in 2027, the green steel project of VGS in Duqm will establish a fully integrated green hydrogen-ready steel plant with approximately 85% fewer CO2 emissions than the current global average, before the end of the decade. This project is estimated to achieve a significant 12 million tonnes per annum in CO2 savings.
New CO2 emission steel plant to be established in Oman
In a strategic alliance with the Sultanate of Oman, Vulcan Green Steel (VGS), part of the Jindal Steel Group, is embarking on an ambitious journey to establish a groundbreaking low CO2 emission steel project within the Duqm Special Economic Zone. Using a combination of natural gas and renewable electricity, this venture promises to revolutionize sustainable steel production not only in Oman but also on a global scale. VGS has secured a 30-year land lease agreement with the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ) to develop and operate a state-of-the-art integrated steel mill complex on a sprawling 2-million m2 site at the Port of Duqm. This complex serves as a testament to VGS's commitment to decarbonizing a traditionally carbon-intensive industry. It adopts a comprehensive approach, intending to harness green electricity and green hydrogen throughout the supply chain, resulting in an impressive 85% reduction in carbon emissions compared to conventional steel production, which emits up to 2 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of steel.
Beyond the significant economic and environmental advantages this landmark undertaking presents, the integrated steel complex will play a pivotal role in generating both direct and indirect employment opportunities during construction and operation. At its peak construction phase, more than 8,000 workers will be engaged on-site, underscoring the magnitude of this endeavour. When operational, VGS is poised to attract local and international investments into a thriving downstream industry, driven by the availability of high-quality, yet cost-competitive, green steel products in Duqm. Potential investors in this sector include industry leaders in electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing, wind energy, and white goods, while small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Duqm area are anticipated to benefit from numerous business opportunities.
Sustainability lies at the heart of VGS's Duqm investment, not only through its use of zero-carbon energy resources but also by maximizing the creation of value for Oman and its local economy as per Oman Vision 2040. As a world-renowned producer of steel, VGS is another venture by the Jindal Steel Group to expedite Oman's economic diversification strategy. The company is also committed to promoting localization, fostering In-Country Value (ICV), nurturing the skills of young Omanis, and nurturing a novel industrial ecosystem centered around sustainable steel production. In essence, the collaboration between VGS and the Omani government aligns seamlessly with Oman Vision 2040, the nation's visionary roadmap for a diversified, sustainable, and economically thriving future. This partnership represents a paradigm shift in industrial investment in Oman, built on the pillars of technological innovation, economic diversification, and unwavering sustainability principles.
Contract awarded for development of master plan of a spaceport in Oman
In a major development for the future of space exploration in the Middle East, the National Aerospace Services Company (NASCOM) of Oman has awarded the first major contract for its Etlaq Spaceport in Duqm, to UK Launch Services Ltd (UK LSL). The award was formalized at a signing ceremony held recently at the British Embassy in Muscat. UK LSL will be responsible for designing the official master plan for the Etlaq spaceport, which is projected to be one of the most advanced spaceports in the world. NASCOM has been meticulously laying the groundwork for this innovative spaceport over the past six months, engaging with both local and international stakeholders to set the stage for a project of unparalleled significance. The Etlaq spaceport is an ambitious and visionary project that promises to make a significant mark on the global space industry. It is located in the Wilayat of Duqm on Oman's southeast coast, and is ideally positioned for a variety of space launch missions. The spaceport will also feature a range of state-of-the-art facilities and services, including a launch pad, assembly and testing facilities, and a mission control center. NASCOM believes that the Etlaq spaceport will play a vital role in promoting the development of the space industry in Oman and the wider Middle East region. The spaceport will also serve as a major hub for international space exploration, attracting companies and organizations from around the world.
In addition to the engineering consultancy contract, NASCOM has also been able to secure seed funding for the Etlaq spaceport project from key institutional investors within the Sultanate of Oman. This is a significant milestone for NASCOM, and it demonstrates the strong support for the project from both the public and private sectors.
NASCOM aims to begin breaking ground at the Etlaq spaceport site by the beginning of the second quarter of 2024, as part of a 24-month development plan for the first phase of the project. The company believes that the spaceport will be operational by 2026, and that it will play a major role in the future of space exploration.
The Etlaq spaceport is a truly groundbreaking project, and it is one that has the potential to transform the global space industry. NASCOM and UK LSL are committed to making the Etlaq spaceport a success, and they are confident that it will play a vital role in the future of space exploration.
The award comes on the heels of Monday’s announcement of the successful launch of Oman’s first satellite, Aman-1, on board Falcon 9, a first-ever orbital class rocket capable of reflight. The landmark achievement, spearheaded by ETCO Space, an Oman-based emerging technology innovator, supported by SpaceX: an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company; SatRev: Polish nanosatellite manufacturer and operator and TUATARA: specialists in advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI), data analytics and cognitive technology solutions.
MoC signed to develop carbon capture, utilization and storage and blue hydrogen in Oman
The Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Oman signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) in the field of Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) and blue hydrogen development in the Sultanate of Oman. The MoC was signed with Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), Oman Shell, OQGN, and Oxy. The MoC aims to form an expertise house that contributes to the development of the regulatory and strategic framework in this field. The MoC comes as part of the government-led initiatives focused on carbon capture technologies and blue hydrogen production to achieve Oman's energy transition strategy for Energy transition, and the Sultanate of Oman's announcement of achieving net zero by 2050. The CCUS technology presents promising solutions to reduce carbon emissions and achieve Net Zero, particularly in the oil and gas production sectors, industries, and fossil fuel-based power plants.
The Sultanate of Oman's National Strategy for an orderly transition to Net Zero has indicated that CCUS will contribute to a significant reduction (approximately 15%) in domestic emissions, thereby facilitating Oman's journey toward Net Zero by 2050.
$20.2m contracts awarded to establish solar energy & housing units in Oman
A'Sharqiyah University, Oman signed two agreements with private sector establishments to provide solar energy and establish student housing units to the tune of RO 7.8 million. The first agreement deals with designing, exporting, installing and connecting a solar energy plant with a capacity of 980 kilowatts. The total cost of this project is estimated at RO 350,000. It is expected to contribute to reducing carbon emissions by 1818 tons. The second agreement, worth RO 7.5 million, is regarding the establishment of 4 student housing units with 132 rooms in each unit. The total capacity of the units will exceed 1,600 students.
Agreement signed to establish an integrated truck rest area in Oman
Khazaen Economic City, under the patronage of the Ministry of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology, has recently entered into an investment agreement with the esteemed National Gas Company to establish an integrated Truck Rest Area within Khazaen. The proposed project encompasses a comprehensive range of facilities, including designated parking lots specifically tailored for trucks, a purpose-built accommodation for truck drivers, top-notch vehicle maintenance services, a variety of commercial shops, and various amenities that will support the logistics sector, spanning an impressive area of 50,000 square metres, with a substantial investment value of OMR2.7 million.
This agreement represents one of the strategic investments made by the National Gas Company to promote economic diversification and attract investments in the Sultanate's fastest-growing sectors. Notably, this project stands as the first of its kind in the Sultanate, situated near the first dry port in Oman, the Khazaen Central Fruit and Vegetable Market and Khazaen International Logistics Park.
Announcement of launching of biggest e-waste recycling project in Oman
Value creation from electronic waste recycling has commenced in earnest in the Sultanate of Oman with the launch of the country's largest processing plant at Raysut Industrial City in Dhofar Governorate. Evergreen Gulf Recycling Hub (EGRH), with a processing capacity of 20,000 tonnes per annum, has been established on a 10,500 sq metre site. Supported by Canada-based environmental services specialist Sparta Group, the facility is billed as one of the most modern in the Gulf region and suitably equipped to recover optimal recyclable value from all kinds of electronic waste. The Evergreen Gulf Recycling Hub has put in place systems for the collection of e-waste from designated areas around the country, which is then transported to Salalah for processing and recycling.
In October EGRH signed an agreement with the Port of Duqm Company for the collection of their e-waste from the latter's Muscat and Duqm offices. In opting for EGRH to handle its e-waste, the port cited the recycling hub's AI-enabled technologies that would help with the segregation of the waste at a molecular level. In addition, EGRH is making available facilitate for onsite shredding of hard drives to ensure that any data remaining on the devices is permanently destroyed. Significantly, the Salalah hub has been equipped to process and recycle a wide array of electrical and electronic waste. The list includes computers, monitors, printers and other office equipment, microwave ovens, television and music systems, mobile phones, fluorescent bulbs, air-conditioners, cables, wires and motors, among other items. Recovered after processing are recyclable materials such as ferrous metals, aluminium, plastic and printed circuit boards (PCBs). Sparta Group's role as Technical Partners ensures that the hub's recycling standards are consistently superior.
Agreements signed for sustainable agriculture waste products in Oman
Oman Environmental Services Holding Company (be'ah) signed two sustainable agricultural waste agreements in Muscat. The first is an agreement with NTZ Solutions for the 'recycling of green and bulky waste materials into biochar' - a type of charcoal produced from organic materials that can be used as a fertiliser. NTZ Solutions is anticipated to establish the first biochar production facility in Oman. This agreement with be'ah reflects our shared dedication to sustainable waste management practices, resource optimization, and environmental responsibility. As the inaugural biochar production facility in Oman, this project aims to set an example for other entities and countries in the region, in both sustainable waste management and the commercialization potential of green projects.
The second agreement was signed with Turbah for the recycling of shredded green and bulky waste materials into compost. This partnership aligns with our mission to produce sustainable, non-hazardous value-added products that cater to the growing demand for healthy soil and a diverse ecosystem. The ongoing support from be'ah stands as a testament to the holistic vision encapsulated in the 2040 Vision, and the signing of this contract solidifies a lasting connection between our two organisations. The agreements are anticipated to minimise emissions, enhance the concept of circular economy, and contribute to environmental conservation. These agreements are tangible steps in be’ah’s journey to deliver its strategy and help realise Oman Vision 2040 and the national goal of Net Zero by 2050. Our partnerships with Turbah and NTZ Solutions are essential levers that we will fully utilize to uphold our commitment to sustainable waste management and environmental stewardship.
Tenders announced for first phase of road dualisation in Oman
The Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology has announced a tender for the Phase 1 dualisation of the landmark carriageway that cuts through the Rub Al Khali (The Empty Quarter) to the newly launched land border between the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Opened late in 2021, the 725-km desert road starts on the Oman side at Ibri roundabout in the Governorate of Al Dhahirah and extends 161km to the Rub Al Khali checkpoint on the international border. From the Saudi side, the blacktop begins at Al Bat'ha junction and ends at the border checkpoint after covering a distance of 564 kilometres. Phase 1 of the dualisation covers a modest stretch on the Oman side of the carriageway. It starts from the Governor's Roundabout and extends to the Tanam Roundabout in the governorate, covering a distance of 5.159km.
In addition to the dualisation of this stretch, a further 10km of service roads will also be constructed on either side. Furthermore, the selected contractor will be required to design and construct a pair of smart signallised junctions elsewhere along the main highway. A wadi crossing and other improvements to the IbriHafeet carriageway are also envisioned as part of the tender package. Significantly, the Rub Al Khali road, which now features a full-fledged border checkpoint, will also serve as a principal conduit for passenger and cargo flows between the two countries when a mammoth new integrated economic zone is brought into operation in multiple phases in Al Dhahirah Governorate. The Economic Zone at Al Dhahirah (EZAD), planned for development on a sprawling 388 sq km area of the governorate, will serve as a new economic growth engine in a strategically important part of the country. Located just 20 kilometres from the Rub Al Khali border crossing, EZAD will leverage its advantageous proximity to the massive Saudi market to target manufacturing, mining, oilfield, logistics, renewable energy and a host of other investments. Significantly, EZAD grew out of agreements signed by Oman and Saudi Arabia in February 2023, setting the ground for a new wave of economic cooperation between the two neighbours. It included a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to finance the infrastructure development of EZAD at a cost of RO 100 million. Technical and commercial bids for Phase 1 of the dualisation project are due in by December 10, 2023.
Plans underway for design & build contract of a drainage network in Oman
Oman's Muscat Municipality is expected to award the design and build contract for its Al Ansab Phase 2 Storm Water and Sub-surface Drainage Network by the first quarter of 2024. The tender was reissued on 17 October 2023 with a technical bid submission deadline of 26 November and commercial bid submission deadline of 30 November 2023. The contract is expected to be awarded by early March 2024, with the overall project completion and commissioning scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2025. The scope of work involves the construction of Storm Water and Subsurface Drainage network. Drainage pipe channel includes perforated HDPE 600mm diameter pipe of 120 metres length and three catch pits. There could be some variations in the length, the start and end to suit the site requirement. The scope of the work is to carry out survey, prepare the detailed design of the drainage in conformance with Highways Design Standards.
$300 agreement signed to establish a polymer manufacturing plant in Oman
Sohar Port and Free Zone signed a sub-usufruct agreement with the International Fine Chemicals Company to establish a polymer manufacturing plant with an investment value of $300 million. The project, covering an area of 240,000 square metres, will serve various industries. Including energy production, agriculture, wastewater management, and the pulp and paper industry. This project will work to strengthen supply chains, attract relevant industries, enhance local trade networks, contribute directly to economic growth and attract manufacturing industries, in addition to developing technology and sustainable growth in various sectors, especially energy production, agriculture, water management, and others. The project focuses on high modern technologies used in the production of several economic sectors and targets a number of markets in the region. The project will include industrial units that enter, as a final product of polymer, into several associated industries. This project targets the Gulf, European, North and South American markets, and reaching the main economic regions to provide innovative solutions that contribute to economic growth at the local and global (ONA).
Agreement signed for hydrogen & CO2 infra projects in Oman
Building on its vision to support the development of low-carbon energy infrastructure in the Sultanate of Oman, OQ Gas Networks (OQGN) - the newly listed gas transportation company - has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Belgian-based energy infrastructure group Fluxys to explore cooperation in the establishment of hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) infrastructure projects in Oman. The agreement underlines OQGN's dedication to fostering renewable energy and decarbonisation infrastructure in Oman. Fluxys and OQGN are both frontrunners in decarbonisation projects and they share the same key strategic focus on accelerating the energy transition. OQGN is committed to the development to renewable energy and decarbonisation infrastructure in Oman, supporting the country to swiftly become a renewable hydrogen export hub. Underscoring this anticipated role for OQGN in Oman's future green hydrogen economy, the company has signed an MoU with Hydrom, the nation's hydrogen industry master-planner and orchestrator, to explore the development of a pipeline network to support the transportation and storage of green hydrogen from production sites to utilization and export hubs. OQGN also foresees a role for itself in supporting CO2 capture and sequestration initiatives, which are key to reducing the carbon footprint of upstream operations, power and industrial sectors. With the installation of dedicated pipelines, carbon captured from gas-fired power generation and traditional industrial processes, such as cement manufacturing, can be transported to depleted gas fields, for example, for reinjection and storage.
First sustainable mountain lodge will be developed in Oman
GCC-based luxury ecolodge company ENVI Lodges has signed an agreement with Oman's Ministry of Defence Pension Fund to develop a sustainable mountain lodge in Al Jabel Al Akhdar, 2,000 metres above sea level. The ecolodge will provide a unique mountain stay experience while promoting environmental conservation in line with the Oman National Tourism Strategy 2040’s target of 11.7 million visitors and 80,000 hospitality keys focused on nature, adventure and sustainable initiatives. Slated to open in 2025, ENVI Al Jabel Al Akhdar will feature 40 luxury expedition tents designed by Tenthouse Structure, a South African architect of tented wilderness developments.
Agreement signed to study pilot project on green hydrogen fueling stations in Oman
OQ, a global integrated energy group, represented in the alternative energy sector, signed an agreement with the Ministry of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology, Asyad Group, Oman Oil Marketing Company, and Air Liquide Group. The purpose of this agreement is to conduct a joint study pilot project on green hydrogen fueling stations in the economic zone in Duqm. This initiative is being undertaken due to the abundance of solar and wind energy resources in the region, in addition to its strategic location and proximity to target markets. The concept study encompasses the generation of renewable energy from solar and wind energy, green hydrogen production, the establishment of a hydrogen fueling station, and the operation of green hydrogen-fueled vehicles, including trucks and buses, all within the confines of the Duqm Special Economic Zone. The study aligns with Oman's aspirations to in exploiting green hydrogen fuel within the transportation sector, a pivotal step towards achieving zero carbon neutrality.
Agreement signed for developing green energy & steel projects in Oman
Five agreements were signed for green industry projects at the ongoing two-day Duqm Economic Forum in Oman. The government has allocated vast expanses of flat land in the Al Wusta Governorate, near the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD), for renewable energy projects, particularly hydrogen production. These sites can easily be connected to the storage and export facilities at Duqm Port or Ras Markaz.
PASEZ signed an agreement for building a $3 billion green steel project with production capacity of five million tonnes per annum. The project named Vulcan Green Steel is promoted by the India-based Jindal Steel Group.
The authority signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Posco-ENGIE coalition for allocating land in SEZAD for green ammonia and hydrogen derivatives production plant. The authority also signed a usufruct agreement with Hyport Duqm- a partnership between Belgium based DEME and OQ - allocating a 150-square-kilometre land parcel in SEZAD.
An MoU with Shell Oman was signed for a green and blue hydrogen-cum-carbon dioxide storage project. The MoU includes preparing a masterplan to explore possible energy investments in the Special Economic Zone.
Another MoU was signed with BP for a green hydrogen plant.
An agreement was also signed with an Omani-Saudi coalition to implement the dualisation the 51-kilometre main road from Duqm Airport to Ras Markaz at a cost of 57.6 million Omani rials ($150 million). The road is expected to be completed in the second half of 2025 and will connect factories in the designated renewable energy zone in Duqm.
Agreement signed for expansion of car storage hub in Oman
Sohar Port and Freezone signed an agreement with the Middle East Group (SFZ) LLC to expand the company's open yard car storage hub within the Sohar Freezone. The latest partnership aligns with the freezone's commitment to bolstering Oman's logistics capabilities and enhancing import and re-export operations. Originally established as a specialised automotive hub, this expansion project has evolved to boost the free zone's capabilities and prioritise logistics excellence. By importing vehicles from renowned manufacturers from countries including Thailand, Japan, Mexico, China, Egypt, and South Africa, and subsequently facilitating their re-export to international markets in North Africa, Sohar Port and Freezone play a pivotal role in facilitating global trade.
$7.5 million agreement signed for setting up a polymer products manufacturing factory in Oman
Oranss Technology Company and Mobel Polymers have signed an agreement to establish polymer products manufacturing factory in Samail Industrial City, with an investment value of USD 7 million for its initial phase. An agreement was signed by the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (Madayn) for setting up a polymer products manufacturing factory in Samayil Industrial City with an investment of $7.5 million in the first phase. The signing took place on the sidelines of the Home and Building Expo at Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre. The factory's output will serve as a pivotal source of raw materials for various manufacturing sectors within Oman, which were previously reliant on imports, thereby catalysing the growth of Omani industries.
RO6mn plans underway for recreational projects in Oman
Dakhiliyah governorate is on the cusp of major developmental changes for its initiative to elevate the region's infrastructure and recreational amenities. In continuation of its developmental efforts, the governorate has announced a number of projects worth over RO6mn to be completed by the end of 2025. Among the anticipated projects are the Dakhiliyah Boulevard, the Nizwa Park, the Nizwa entrance project, and the Jabal Akdar Park. By 2025, they aim to pave around 600km of internal roads. Commercial areas, marketplaces, and a bus station in the Farq area are on the horizon. The Dakhiliyah Boulevard project, designed as a health and recreational milestone, is scheduled to begin next year, 2024. With 35 parks and gardens spanning its nine wilayats and covering a vast 1.35mn sqm, Dakhiliyah's recent accomplishments include the inauguration of the Manah Public Park. The private sector, particularly the Petroleum Development Oman, has played a pivotal role. Their backing, manifest in endeavours like the Khamila Public Park, exhibits a collaborative spirit driving the region's growth reflecting the governorate's commitment to greenery and open spaces. The strides taken in internal road projects, focusing on residential developments. The groundwork for the 2024-25 phase has been laid, with execution set to roll out next year, 2024. In sum, Dakhiliyah governorate's initiatives reflect a strategic, resident-centric vision, geared to elevate the living standards of its inhabitants.
Project launched to link island to transmission network in Oman
Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC) is set to embark on a strategic project to link the island of Masirah to OETC's Transmission Network through a 35-km submarine cable with a voltage of 132 kilovolts and 60 kilometres of overhead power transmission lines. The project aligns with Oman Vision 2040 which aims to achieve carbon neutrality by marking a significant step towards reducing carbon emissions. The key project involves linking the island of Masirah to OETC's Transmission Network through a 35-kilometre submarine cable with a voltage of 132 kilovolts and 60 kilometres of overhead power transmission lines. The connection will extend from the Mahout substation at 400/33 kilovolts to the Masirah substation. The consultancy contract for this project was awarded to an experienced firm in December 2023.
Furthermore, the transmission line routes and the marine cable directions have been approved by all relevant authorities, and a tender for project implementation is set to be released, with construction scheduled to commence in 2024. These strategic projects are aimed at realising Oman's Vision of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. They aim to reduce reliance on diesel-based power generation, curb carbon emissions, meet the energy demands of Masirah Island, and accommodate the growing electricity consumption while also facilitating the integration of renewable energy sources. This project includes a unique technological component in the form of the submarine cable, which employs complex and highly critical technologies. The project consultant has completed marine surveys, including geophysical and geotechnical surveys, each with its specialized equipment and expertise. These surveys represent the crucial initial steps required for the construction of the undersea cable.
Plans announced to explore direct air capture project in Oman
New York-listed energy giant Occidental is considering a direct air capture (DAC) project in Oman as well as the UAE. Following an announcement that the company would work in partnership with Abu Dhabi state oil giant ADNOC to explore the development of a DAC project - which would trap carbon dioxide produced from fossil fuel burning and store it to prevent it from entering the atmosphere, in ADIPEC session it had presented a replica of a working project to the Sultan of Oman. The ADNOC project with Occidental will be the first venture of its kind for the American company outside the USA.
MoU signed to lead development of stimulated geologic hydrogen in Oman
Eden has signed a Memorandum-of-Understanding with the Oman Ministry of Energy and Minerals ('MEM') to lead development of stimulated geologic hydrogen in Oman. As part of the agreement with Oman MEM, Eden will facilitate development of the world's first international test site for research and demonstration of stimulated geologic hydrogen. Eden will begin by conducting a feasibility assessment to identify a site with optimal subsurface conditions for stimulated geologic hydrogen generation. Eden plans to conduct pilot testing of their patented Electrical Reservoir Stimulation ('ERS') technology to enhance the production of geologic hydrogen at the test site in Oman. Eden plans to scale this technology to then lead the first commercial development of stimulated geologic hydrogen in the world.
New partnership formed for a pilot carbon mineralization project in Oman
44.01, the Omani carbon mineralisation technology innovator and U.S.-based Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology company Aircapture have partnered for a pilot carbon mineralisation project in Oman. The Berkeley-headquartered Aircapture's modular DAC units will initially provide up to 500 tonnes of high-grade liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) per year for mineralisation by 44.01 with plans to increase after initial pilot testing. The project will begin operations in Oman's Hajar mountains in late 2024. This will be the world's largest peridotite mineralisation project to eliminate atmospheric CO2 and a significant scale up in the deployment of 44.01 and Aircapture's technologies.
44.01 will mineralise the captured atmospheric CO2 in peridotite using their award-winning technology. Peridotite, an ultramafic rock found in abundance across the world, mineralises CO2 naturally in a process that usually takes decades. 44.01's technology accelerates this process, offering a safe, permanent, and scalable way of eliminating CO2 in less than a year. The project will take place at a site in Oman where 44.01 has already completed successful pilots and will also see 44.01 mineralise thousands of tons of CO2 from industrial and biogenic sources.
Bids invited to operate & manage castles in Oman
The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism announced the opening of bids to submit competitive offers to manage, operate and utilise the castles of Al Hillah and Khandaq in the Wilayat of Al Buraimi, the Governorate of Al Buraimi. The ministry has set November 16, 2023 as the deadline to submit bidding documents.
Contract award is expected for EPCCM service contract in Oman
Oman's OQ Gas Networks (OQGN) is expected to award the engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning and management (EPCCM) services contract for various Green and Brownfield Projects to meet requirements of existing facilities by the first quarter 2024. The tender for EPCC contract was issued on 9 August 2023 and the technical and commercial bid submission date is scheduled on 25 September 2023. The EPCC contract is expected to awarded by mid of January 2024. The scope of work involves includes new pipelines and Gas Supply stations (GSS) and associated transmission pipelines, new pipeline connection projects to new consumers (Public Establishment for Industrial Estates - Madayn), and brownfield improvement and de-bottlenecking projects. The operational period of the contract is envisioned as three years with optional extension of one plus one year. The project is slated for completion by the fourth quarter of 2025, estimate of the project cost is $100 million.
Tender floated for infrastructure advisory services for an economic zone in Oman
The Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (Opaz) has announced through the electronic tender system (ESNAD) a tender for Omani and Saudi companies to bid for providing advisory services for designing and supervising the implementation of infrastructure facilities for the Integrated Economic Zone at Al Dhahirah Governorate (EZAD). Opaz invited local specialised companies to get the terms and conditions of the tender from the website of the General Secretariat of the Tender Board. The deadline for participating and purchasing the tender documents was set for October 2, 2023. Opaz set the date for interested companies in bidding for the project to visit the Zone on 3 October, 2023 and the deadline for receiving bids was set on 26 October, 2023.
The tender was announced after Opaz had finished its thorough analysis and plans for establishing the Integrated Economic Zone at Al Dhahirah Governorate. The scope of this tender includes the design and supervision of the first phase's infrastructure facilities, including roads, electrical installations, water and sewage networks, telecommunications networks, gas networks, industrial waste treatment and necessary area facilities like administrative and commercial buildings and some ancillary facilities. The initial phase of the comprehensive plan for the construction of the Integrated Economic Zone at Al Dhahirah is currently being finalised by Opaz. This zone plays a strategic role in enhancing bilateral trade between the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by attracting companies from the two countries to establish their projects within the Zone and find economic partnerships to reduce the production and export costs, make it easier to supply goods and products and provide high-quality industries. Additionally, the zone provides job opportunities for Omanis in various sectors and industries, streamlined with Oman's Vision 2040 goals.
Competitive tender launched for installation of subsea cable in Oman
Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC) has launched a competitive tender for the installation of a subsea power cable that will provide cost-competitive electricity from the national grid to Masirah Island off the country's eastern seaboard. OETC underlined the significance of the project for its ongoing efforts to modernize its transmission infrastructure. This is one of the first-in-kind projects in the Sultanate of Oman and will contribute to meet the demand growth, improve system resiliency, eliminating diesel resource and hence meeting the net zero target and cost reduction. The cable – spanning a total distance of 33 kilometres under the Masirah Channel – is proposed to extend from a 132 kV overhead transmission running 60 kilometres from Mahout on the mainland all the way to the coast. When operational by around late 2026, the project will help end Masirah Island's longstanding dependence of diesel-powered electricity generation and enable supplies from a national grid that is being increasingly served by solar and wind-based power generation.
A network of diesel-powered plants operated by the Rural Areas Electricity Company (Tanweer) – part of Nama Group – currently meets the island's energy needs. But with parts of the island designated for significant infrastructure, commercial, economic, fisheries and tourism development, electricity demand growth is anticipated to climb sharply in the coming years. It is expected that international companies will be the principal contenders for the subsea power cable contract, given the overall novelty of this initiative in the Sultanate of Oman. Under a separate tender, OETC invited bids for a construction of a 132/33kV grid station on Masirah Island which, upon the installation of the undersea cable, will be connected with a similar grid station on the mainland at Mahout. Significantly, Masirah's planned connectivity with the main grid has been made possible by OETC's flagship Rabt project – an estimated $1 billion initiative to link the standalone grids of north Oman with Dhofar. Currently being undertaken in two phases, the 400 kV interconnection enables the transmission system to veer eastwards towards Masirah and Duqm as its travels south to connect with the Dhofar system. Final submissions for the two contracts are due in by October 31, 203.
Plans unveiled to build pipeline to transport hydrogen in Oman
There is a plan to build a network of pipelines to transport hydrogen in the Sultanate of Oman in three wilayats. Oman is planning to build a network of pipelines with a length of 2,000 km within the country to transport green fuel, with the potential to connect it with its neighbours. Its a long-term plan for hydrogen transportation to three industrial areas, such as Al Duqm, Al Jazir and Salalah in the Sultanate of Oman. Oman wants to remove some of the burdens on industry developers by launching a network of pipelines to transport hydrogen. The Sultanate of Oman aspires to develop green hydrogen projects and has succeeded in attracting the interest of investors and the International Energy Agency, in light of expectations that the country will join the leading fuel exporting countries by 2030. They are aiming to launch an appropriate infrastructure to transport water and electricity that the green hydrogen industry needs from renewable energy sources, and the first phase of the plan aims to build a network of pipelines to transport hydrogen fuel to serve three green hydrogen industrial zones in the country. It is intended to connect the Wilayats of Al Duqm and Al Jazir in the first phase to a network of hydrogen transport pipelines, and in 2040, it will connect Salalah to the two wilayats. Oman has plans to connect low-cost renewable energy generation centres in the south with other wilayats in the north of the country, such as those in the Al Batinah North Governorate, through a network of prospective hydrogen fuel transportation pipelines. The final phase of the hydrogen transport network plan comes in 2050, when these areas are connected to Muscat. A government report had previously indicated that linking supplies with demand logistically is one of the challenges facing the Sultanate of Oman, estimating the value of investments needed by a pipeline network to transport hydrogen at about $3 billion.
Plans underway to development of new economic zone in Oman
Initial groundwork on a new integrated economic zone, designed to capitalize on an upsurge in investment and economic seen the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is set commence in earnest in Oman's Al Dhahirah Governorate. The Economic Zone at Al Dhahirah (EZAD), planned for development on a sprawling 388 sq km area of the governorate, will serve as a new economic growth engine in a strategically important part of the country. Located just 20 kilometres from the border crossing established on Oman's border with Saudi Arabia in The Empty Quarter (Rub Al Khali), EZAD will leverage its advantageous proximity to the massive Saudi market to target manufacturing, mining, oilfield, logistics, renewable energy and a host of other investments. Omani Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ), which is overseeing the development of EZAD, invited suitably qualified local and international consultancy firms to compete for a contract to undertake the preliminary and detailed design, among other services, linked to the zone. But in keeping with a commitment to opening up contracting opportunities to Saudi players as well, in the case of select projects, competition for this contract will be limited to bidders from Oman and Saudi Arabia, or joint ventures between the two. But given the green-field nature of EZAD, design and supervision work will be limited to the first phase of 6.5 sq kilometres of a total master-planned area of 20 sq kilometes. Bids are due in by October 26, 2023. Significantly, EZAD grew out of agreements signed by Oman and Saudi Arabia in February 2023, setting the ground for a new wave of economic cooperation between the two neighbours. It included a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to finance the infrastructure development of EZAD at a cost of RO 100 million.
Plans underway for a hospital expansion & modification project in Oman
Oman's Ministry of Health is expected to award the design and build contract for its Nizwa Hospital Expansion and Modification project, located in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate in the Wilayat of Bowsher by the fourth quarter of 2023. The tender for the design and build contract was re-issued on 25 June 2023 with a submission deadline of 6 September 2023. The contract award is expected by end of fourth quarter of 2023. The technical bids were opened on 20 July, 2023 while the financial bids were opened on 6 September, 2023. The financial bids were submitted Dawood Contracting ($5.4 million), Nafal Contracting and Trading Co ($8.7 million); Al Adrak Trading and Contracting ($49.6 million), and Alyam Enterprises ($7 million).
The Nizwa Hospital extension includes addition of new buildings and medical equipment, as well as raising the number of beds for various specialisations. The project is slated for completion in first quarter 2025 & the estimate of the project cost is $50 million.
RO488mn approved for strategic projects across Oman
In its fifth meeting of the year, the Tender Board, chaired by Minister of Economy, approved important projects, the total value of which exceeds RO488.7mn. Some of the approved projects are:
- Oman Cultural Complex: The board cleared RO147.8mn for the design and construction of the complex.
- Infrastructure enhancements: Several infrastructure projects got the green light, including the first phase of the Batinah coastal road in North Batinah and South Batinah for RO78.95mn, dualisation of Al Ansab-Al Jifnain road for RO53mn, and a new Ministry of Health building for RO7.85mn.
- Salalah developments: In Salalah, approved projects include construction of the Atin Road intersection on November 18 Street (RO7.5mn), Sultan Taimur Street dualisation (RO6.2mn) and Al Farouq Street dualisation (RO4.9mn).
- Infrastructure expansion: Projects include the design and implementation of Wadi Bani Jaber Road (Phase II) for RO4.4mn, allocation of a channel on Arabsat Badr-6 (RO4.1mn), drainage network construction in Salalah (RO3.9mn) and air traffic management system maintenance (RO3.5mn).
- Local Roads: RO3.4mn has approved for paving internal roads in Bidiyah, North Sharqiyah.
- Sports infrastructure: Preparations for the Hockey's World Cup in Amerat received funding of RO3.1mn.
- Additional Consultation Services: RO1.6mn was approved for engineering consultation services for Oman Botanic Garden and RO160,000 for the Al Nama Hospital project in North Sharqiyah.
Agreement signed to establish center for innovation and entrepreneurship in Oman
The Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (Madayn) and the Oman-Indian Fertilizer Company (Omifco) signed an agreement to establish the Omifco Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Sur Industrial City. This agreement stems from the plans of Sur Industrial City to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the Sultanate of Oman in general, and the Governorate of South Al Sharqiyah in particular, by providing an incubator environment for their projects. The agreement aims to enhance the role of entrepreneurship and innovation and embrace emerging companies in various sectors. The centre will work as a pioneering environment to provide packages of services to entrepreneurs, which include shared workspaces, private offices, consulting services, training programmes and seminars, and technical support, which will enhance the culture of entrepreneurship in the governorate and provide owners with ideas and projects for the labour market. The centre is expected to become operational within 24 months.
Plans underway to transform nature park in Oman
Nestled in the heart of Salalah, the sprawling Iteen Nature Park is one of Dhofar's most popular settings for social and cultural events, and informal family get-togethers as well. Now, in an effort to enhance its appeal, Dhofar Municipality is partnering with Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) in the development of a full-fledged natural park replete with attractions and amenities to appeal to visitors of all ages. Total investment in the initiative is about RO 5 million, which includes a contribution of RO 2 million from PDO. The project is one of six civic and tourism enhancement initiatives being implemented by Dhofar Municipality targeting key sites across the governorate. The Iteen Nature Park project will transform a 273,000 sq metre area of Iteen Plain into a new, spectacular landmark in the government. A tender for the implementation of the project is expected to be floated shortly.
Once redeveloped, Iteen Nature Park will captivate visitors with its diverse range of natural wonders, including cascading waterfalls, lush forests, and meticulously manicured gardens. Complementing these natural marvels are an array of world-class recreational amenities such as picturesque hiking trails, idyllic picnic spots, and a state-of-the-art playground. Furthermore, the project will make a significant economic impact as well, in the form of job creation, growth in tourism revenues, and other knock-on benefits.
Plans underway for a new sustainable city in Oman
A new sustainable city is planned for development east of Al Dahariz as part of the Greater Salalah master-plan in Dhofar Governorate. The new city will have a length of 5 km and will be home to about 30,000 to 40,000 inhabitants. It will have six hotel facilities with a total of 1,100 rooms, all of which will be located in the commercial heart of the city and in front of the marina. The city will be designed to be sustainable in a number of ways. It will use renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power. It will also have a rainwater harvesting system and a waste water treatment plant. The buildings in the city will be designed to be energy efficient and to use recycled materials.
The development of the sustainable city east of Al-Dahariz is part of Oman's Vision 2040, which aims to make the country a more sustainable and prosperous nation. In addition to the sustainable city east of Al-Dahariz, Oman is also developing other sustainable cities. One such city is the Yiti Sustainable City, which is located in Muscat. The Yiti Sustainable City is set to be the largest operational sustainable community in the world. It will use a variety of sustainable technologies, such as solar power, rainwater harvesting, and waste water treatment. The development of sustainable cities is an important part of Oman's efforts to reduce its environmental impact and to improve the quality of life for its citizens. The sustainable cities that are being built in Oman are setting an example for other countries and are helping to make the world a more sustainable place. The Greater Salalah project is a major economic driver for the region and will create jobs and opportunities for the people of Dhofar. The MOHUP gave a presentation on the project, outlining the goals of the project, which are to: Accommodate the growing population density; Attract investment; Boost the economy; Improve the quality of services; and Enhance the infrastructure and transportation system of the governorate.
Worlds largest green steel plant launched in Oman
Oman is on the cusp of making history in the steel industry with the ambitious launch of Vulcan Green Steel in Duqm, a ground-breaking initiative by Jindal Steel Group. This project aligns with Oman's commitment to reaching Net Zero Emissions by 2050 and positions the country as a trailblazer in green steel production. Scheduled for completion by 2026, the mega green steel project in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD) will establish a six million metric tons per annum (6 MTPA) green hydrogen-ready steel plant. This project is estimated to achieve an astounding 12 million tonnes per annum CO2 savings, making a significant positive impact on global emissions reduction. The project represents a marquee initiative in the fight against climate change and marks a new era of large-scale green steel production. Powered entirely by renewable energy and green hydrogen, it is set to become one of the largest green steel investments in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries, generating anticipation and excitement worldwide.
The Green Steel project, to be carried out by Vulcan Green Steel and Jindal Shadeed Iron & Steel in Duqm with investments exceeding 1.3 Billion Omani Rials, represents a pioneering step in Oman's journey to become a global hub for green industries. These industries will benefit from green hydrogen and renewable energy projects. The project will mark the beginning of large-scale industrial projects that will solidify Oman's presence on the world map as an attractive destination for foreign direct investments in this promising sector and its role in providing meaningful employment opportunities for national talent. At its core, this ground-breaking initiative supports international efforts to combat climate change by harnessing the power of green hydrogen. By utilising this innovative technology, the project significantly reduces the carbon footprint inherent in steel production, making it an irresistible choice for environmentally conscious industries worldwide. Unlike conventional methods of transporting green hydrogen in the form of green ammonia with minimal value addition, this project will process green hydrogen within Oman to do value addition and make green steel. This strategic approach encourages the creation and development of a robust green hydrogen ecosystem within the nation. Furthermore, by focusing on in-country value addition, the project takes significant strides in reducing transportation-related carbon emissions while simultaneously supporting the growth of green technology and steelmaking expertise within Oman. This commitment to sustainability and the utilisation of renewable resources serves as a powerful testament to Oman's dedication to becoming a global leader in environmentally responsible practices.
Water network expansion project implemented in Oman
The Centralised Utilities Company (Marafiq), a joint venture owned by OQ; a subsidiary of Oman Investment Authority (OIA), implemented a water network expansion project in parts of Sayy neighbourhood at the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (Sezad). This move stems from Marafiq's plan to connect different investment projects as well as residential and commercial properties with its water network. Company's strategy focuses on the availability of water in sufficient quantities and of high quality in various investment and residential areas at Sezad with attention to enhancing efficiency and sustainability of water resources and making optimal use of them. It included the expansion of the water distribution network in parts of the Sayy neighbourhood (schemes 53, 54 and 55) with a length of 15km. During the project implementation period, Marafiq awarded a number of works to small and medium-sized enterprises, such as drilling and pipe installation. Companies operating in the water sector have achieved many gains as a result of the water network expansion, in addition to the other economic and social benefits.
Currently, the length of pipelines transporting water in the region is 46 kilometres, while the length of the pipelines of the water distribution network is 131 kilometres.
Agreement signed for establishment of industrial gases production facility in Oman
Sohar Port and Freezone signed a land lease agreement with Air Care Systems Company (FZC) to establish a manufacturing unit for industrial and medical gases in Sohar Freezone. Under the terms of this agreement, Air Care Systems Company will produce industrial and medical gases, including liquid oxygen, liquid nitrogen, and liquid argon. This advanced production unit will be powered by Air Separation Unit (ASU) technology, ensuring top-tier quality and efficiency. Pak Oman Investment Company is the structural and financial advisor for the project. Covering a land area of 15,000 sqm, the project is a convergence of Chinese and European technologies, backed by a robust $10mn investment. Leveraging natural air as a feedstock, the ASU project manages power and fuel resources strategically for optimal production efficiency. With a target daily production capacity of 110 tonnes per day, the project aims to extend its market reach across the GCC, Yemen, and the MENA region, positioning Oman as a key player in the gas manufacturing industry. The primary objective of Air Care Systems Company's project is to cater to the growing regional demand for industrial and medical gases while simultaneously reinforcing the self-reliance of the healthcare sector. The project aligns with several objectives, including fostering industrial growth, supplying local contractors with essential gases, and promoting technological advancement.
Implementation of new interconnect project to boost power trade in Oman
Oman's electricity authorities are evaluating the benefits of implementing a new interconnect project that will link the main grid of the Sultanate of Oman with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states via the GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA). When approved and eventually operationalized, the initiative will be the second such interconnect between Oman and the GCC bloc, the first having been established in 2012 at Mahadha where a 220 kV system links Oman with the GCCIA via the UAE (Abu Dhabi) power system. This time around, Nama Power and Water Procurement Co (PWP) is weighing a direct 400 kV interconnect from Ibri to Silaa on the UAE's border with Saudi Arabia. This project would provide direct access to all GCCIA Member States and would enhance the benefits in stability, generation planning, and trade opportunities relative to the existing 220 kV link via the UAE.
Significantly, the proposed interconnect project has already been the subject of a detailed study by the GCCIA. It centres on the construction of a 500-km long 400 kV AC link. The study's outcomes indicated that the net transfer capacity to the Sultanate of Oman would increase from 400 MW to about 1,300 MW. Accordingly, it is expected that the two interconnects would contribute more to the planning reserve requirements. Oman's interconnection with the GCC power system has enabled firm support during emergencies, while also opening up opportunities for trades in electricity, and coordination in planning and operating reserves. The double circuit link at Mahadha supports reliable transfers of up to 400 MW with the potential to carry up to 800 MW in emergencies. The link has provided emergency reserves on a number of occasions, preventing power failures in the MIS (Main Interconnected System of Oman). Firm capacity exchanges between Oman and the GCC systems have taken place on multiple occasions, notably during 2016 and 2018. Oman's PWP had also exported capacity to a GCCIA member state during the summer periods of 2020, 2021 and 2022. As for the current status of the new interconnect initiative, it is currently in the planning stages. Following approval and a confirmed development timetable, the expanded interconnect capacity and the assessment of capacity benefit of reserve-sharing would be included in PWP's 7-year resource planning.
Plans released for development of a proposed smart city in Oman
US architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has released a new plan for a proposed smart city in Oman, with construction slated to start next year, 2024. The 14.8 square kilometre Sultan Haitham City is located west of Muscat and will accommodate 100,000 people with 20,000 housing units. The first phase, which runs until 2030, will develop the five-square-kilometre city centre and six of the development's 19 planned neighborhoods. The final phase is expected to be completed by 2045.
$300M agreement signed for develop crpto-mining farm in Oman
Reinforcing Oman's appeal as a destination for data center and cryptocurrency mining services, Muscat based Green Data City and Abu Dhabi-headquartered Phoenix Group have signed an agreement to develop a 150MW crypto-mining farm in Oman. The new farm will be installed in Green Data City and should be fully operational by Q2 2024, becoming one of the largest crypto-mining data centers in the region. Phoenix Group is a regional leader of mining equipment backed by MicroBT, with strong expertise in mining operations in the Middle-East. The signatories of the agreement have chosen the Sultanate of Oman due to the long-term security provided by the Green Data City mining license, the common vision to develop cryptocurrencies mining and AI applications with the Ministry of Transport, Communication and IT, and the cooler weather in Oman, in particular in the Governorate of Dhofar, which reduces the cooling energy consumption to a minimum, making Oman one the most sustainable destination for mining in the region. Environmental and social responsibility being at the top of the mission statement, the developers will build the $300 million farm with modular units to reduce the impact on the land, install solar shades, and employ specialized technicians from the local community. Younger students and graduates will be able to get acquainted.
With the mining operations through a partnership with universities in Oman, in a long-term vision to strengthen the country's capabilities on cryptocurrencies, next generation finance, and IT innovation. GDC has already completed the proof-of-concept phase started in November 2022, with 4 mining companies on site (four miners from Oman and one international), and with the most advanced immersion cooling systems to avoid consuming water. Green Data City will continue to allocate mining capacities, under the leadership of the MTCIT, and to provide a stable eco-system for crypto infrastructure, with power consumption reduction, renewable electricity, and long-term contracts for miners. Green Data City LLC operates the first license for sustainable crypto-mining in Oman since 2022. International mining companies can register and operate in Green Data City with long term agreements. The first phase of development consists of 200MW of mining capacity, the second phase will reach 400MW hyperscale data center capacity with natural cooling, renewable energies and downstream applications. Real estate and hospitality investments will join the development of the new eco-system, and create the next generation data & blockchain eco-system in the region. Founded in 2016, the Phoenix Group manages 725MW across global mining facilities, with a presence spanning Canada, North America, CIS, and the UAE. With a strong international presence, the Group operates diverse locations and employs over 177 professionals from 16 different nationalities. Services provided encompass mining, hosting, and cooling, alongside investments in web3 technologies and regulated digital asset exchanges. It has recently added systematic trading to its diverse portfolio of businesses.
Construction of 210 km long road project begins in Oman
The Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology (MTCIT), represented by the General Directorate of Roads and Land Transport in Dhofar Governorate, has started the implementation of the Harweb - Al Mazyounah - Meiten road project in Dhofar Governorate, one of the strategic projects implemented by the Ministry within its implementation plan for the current year, 2023. The project starts from Harweb area and ends in Meiten area in the wilayat of Al Mazyounah, with a length of 210 km. The cross-section of the road consists of two traffic lanes with a width of 3.5 meters for each lane, asphalt shoulders with a width of (half) a meter on each side, and dirt shoulders with a width of (one and a half meters) from each side. The construction of these roads will be taken into account according to the standard specifications approved in the Road Design Manual, and they will be provided with all traffic safety requirements, including concrete and metal barriers, guiding regulations, and ground and warning paints. This project is considered one of the important connecting roads in the Dhofar Governorate, and would contribute to facilitating the flow of traffic between the regions of the Wilayat of Al Mazyounah, strengthening social ties and stimulating commercial and economic movement with the rest of the wilayats of the Sultanate of Oman.
Biggest data center is preparing to launch in Oman
Leading Omani data centre services provider Datamount is preparing to shortly launch one of Oman's biggest data centres at a site in Muscat Governorate. Al Bandar Centre, set to be inaugurated in the Wilayat of Al Seeb, is the company's third facility after centres in Muscat and Al Jabal al Akhdhar. Upon its completion over three phases, Al Bandar Centre will accommodate more than 700 racks designed according to the specifications and standards required to meet the requirements of the level (Uptime Tier III) and (TIA 942 Rated 3). The centre has recently been connected to the electricity network and chilled water lines provided by Tabreed Oman. In preparation for commercial operation, the work teams are currently working on calibrating devices and systems and conducting accurate tests for all complex systems associated with the centre, including electricity distribution, cooling mechanisms, fire prevention and control protocols, access safety measures, and centre structure control systems, complete and double backup generators, double data transmission lines and double electric rooms.
The cooling systems are designed to operate with cooling exchange systems which also come in double; the centre is also equipped with an internal cooling device that works with cold water (chiller) as an additional supplement. The quick spread of digital technologies positively impacts the economy of the Sultanate of Oman, while also contributing to diversifying sources of income and creating job opportunities, whether for Omani youth or small and medium enterprises. This in turn will contribute to raising the development indicators of Oman and advancing the digital transformation, thereby ensuring the continuity and growth of the digital economy, artificial intelligence and cloud services in government and private sector. Al Bandar Data Centre can cover the current demand of the local, regional, and international market.
Off-plot delivery contracts awarded in Oman
Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), the national oil company for the sultanate, has awarded two significant off plot delivery contracts (ODCs) to Omani construction majors - Al Tasnim Enterprises and Galfar Engineering & Contracting. As per the deal, Al Tasnim company will oversee the South ODC, which encompasses Nimr, Amal, Marmul and Greater Berba, while Galfar will be responsible for the Qarn Alam and Saih Rawl areas. The entire project work will be completed within seven years.
Construction update of municipal projects in Oman
A number of municipal projects executed by North Al Batinah Municipality in the Wilayat of Shinas has been completed. These projects included the design and asphalt/pavement works of internal roads and other works. In the field of service roads, the Municipality has completed pavement of roads, the design and pavement of kilometres of internal roads, maintenance of damaged roads have reached a completion of 85 percent of such roads have competed in an area of 990 square metres in the various parts of the Wilayat of Shinas. The Municipality also continues with the development works at the seafront project with completion percentage of 72 percent while the completion percentage reached 20 percent in the project for the supply and installation of some kiosks for entrepreneurs and owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and jobseekers. This is in addition to several taxi waiting areas with completion of 100 percent in the various parts of the Wilayat of Shinas.
Plans underway for developing interconnection link in Oman
A direct 400 kV interconnection from Oman's Ibri to the UAE's Silaa border with Saudi Arabia and linking to Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) has been evaluated and is in the planning process, Nama Power and Water Procurement Company (Nama PWP) published in its 2023-2029 power outlook report. The study's outcome indicated that the net transfer capacity to the Sultanate will increase from 400 megawatts (MW) to about 1,300 MW. The 500-kilometre-long link will provide direct access to all GCCIA member states and enhance the benefits in stability, generation planning, and trade opportunities relative to the existing 220 kV link via UAE. Nama PWP is presently exploring several potential transactions with other power systems.
Announcement of new off plot delivery contracts signed in Oman
Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) announces the conferral of two significant Off Plot Delivery Contracts (ODCs) to Al Tasnim Enterprises LLC company and Galfar Engineering & Contracting SAOG company, extending over seven years. Al Tasnim company will oversee the South ODC, which encompasses Nimr, Amal, Marmul and Greater Berba, while Galfar company will be responsible for the Qarn Alam and Saih Rawl areas. These strategic partnerships exemplify PDO's commitment to excellence and long-term collaboration with its contractors.
Plans underway for developing solar projects in Oman
Nama Power & Water Procurement Company (Nama PWP), the sole buyer of power and water output in the Sultanate of Oman, has identified for procurement a new large-scale solar PV based Independent Power Project (IPP) with a launch date penciled in for 2029. The proposed mega-scale venture, provisionally labelled Solar PV IPPs 2029, will boast an aggregate capacity of 1000 MW comprising of two IPPs of 500 MW apiece. The procurement strategy for the project will mirror the approach applied by PWP in the award recently of the Manah I & II Solar PV IPPs to two different consortiums each securing a 500 MW capacity share for simultaneous implementation at a site in the Wilayat of Manah. This project is a single procurement process, in which there will be separate single awards for each site, to different developers. Each project will have contracted maximum offtake capacity of around 500 MW using PV technology. Significantly, Solar PV IPPs 2029 will be the sixth utility-scale soar PV project slated for implementation in Oman as part of PWP's strategy to secure 30 per cent of the country's power needs from renewables by 2030.
Preceding its procurement and implementation is MIS Solar IPP 2027 - a 500 MW utility-scale solar PV provisionally planned for development at a site within Al Wusta Governorate. Procurement activities related to this project - the fifth solar PV scheme in PWP's renewable energy programme - will likely commence only in 2025, with commercial launch targeted during 2027.
Announcement of the revival of a long-stalled water resources in Oman
Oman's water authorities have announced the revival of a long-stalled initiative to harness the water resources of Wadi Dayqah Dam in Muscat Governorate – a move designed to help augment potable water supplies, as well as meet the irrigation needs of local farmers. Constructed in 2011, Wadi Dayqah Dam is presently the country's biggest man-made reservoir with a capacity to hold an estimated 100 million cubic metres of rainwater runoff at full capacity. The dam site, located in the Wilayat of Qurayyat, is a major draw for tourists, boaters and other weekend visitors. State-owned Nama Power and Water Procurement Co (PWP), the sole buyer of new power and potable water output, revealed recently that a proposal for the procurement of an Independent Water Project (IWP) that will tap Wadi Dayqah's resources, is now back on the front-burner.
It follows a request by Nama Water Services (formerly Oman Water & Wastewater Services Co) calling for a revival of the IWP initiative. Nama Water Services has requested PWP to resume the project development of Wadi Dhayqah IWP and requested to procure a capacity of 65,000 m3/d, provided that the project will supply 35,000 m3/d of desalinated water to Nama Water Services network, while the rest of the capacity will be supplied to the farmers for irrigation water in the local vicinity. PWP initiated the procurement in coordination with the Authority for Public Services Regulation (APSR) and relevant stakeholders, supplies to local farmers will be coordinated through the Ministry of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries Wealth and Water Resources. A previous effort to procure a privately funded and operated water project was launched in 2019, with the PWP inviting interested developers to submit Expressions of Interest (EoIs). It centred on a proposal for the development of a surface water treatment plant with a net production capacity of 125,000 m3 per day. The IWP was proposed to be set up at a distance of about 6.5km from the reservoir and connected to the reservoir and the transmission network via new pipelines. Further details, alongside a procurement timeframe, about the scaled-down version of the IWP will be disclosed in the next edition of the 7-Year Statement, which is scheduled to be published next year. When eventually operational, the Wadi Dayqah IWP will the first water project in the Sultanate of Oman that will use surface water as feedstock, as opposed to seawater, which is presently the principal resource for potable water production in desalination projects.
$35m projects plans are underway in Oman
Samail Industrial City, affiliated to Oman's Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (Madayn), has signed 15 investment contracts worth OMR13.5 million ($35 million) in the first half of 2023. These newly localised projects span across a total area of 100,000 sq m, reinforcing Samail Industrial City's standing as an ideal investment hub under the management of Madayn. The total count of localised projects within the industrial city now stands at 156, which include 94 projects at the production stage, 43 under construction and 19 projects at the stage of preparation of the plans and drawings, where the total investment value of these projects has amounted to OMR150 million on a total area of 2.2 million sq m. Madayn's ongoing projects in Samail include the medical fitness examination building that is 90% complete. Madayn is also implementing the complementary works for the industrial city that have progressed to 98%, which include a dual-lane road linking Samail Industrial City with the expressway. Moreover, the connection of the septic tank of phase 2 with phase 1 has achieved a completion rate of over 98%.
Madayn has divided Samail Industrial City into diverse sectors, each with its unique focus. These sectors comprise the food industry, currently occupied at over 17% capacity; logistics, which registers an occupancy rate of over 34%; building materials, with an occupancy rate of over 26%; the steel and wood sector, flourishing with a substantial occupancy rate exceeding 60%; the plastic and paper sector, thriving at a notable occupancy rate of over 85%; the marble sector, showcasing an occupancy rate of over 78%; and the SMEs sector, with an occupancy rate of over 34%.
Additionally, preliminary feasibility studies have been conducted on several key investment opportunities within Samail Industrial City. These opportunities include diverse sectors such as dairy and juice production, date products manufacturing and packaging, breakfast cereal production, dolomite processing, water leakage prevention solutions, copper bars and sheets manufacturing, gypsum production, electrical conductors manufacturing, glossy ceramics production, HVAC equipment manufacturing, electrical switch manufacturing, marble product manufacturing, and prefabricated building production. Samail Industrial City has initiated collaborative efforts with partners to promote the Facility Building, which spans a total area exceeding 16,000 sq m and offers rentable space of over 12,000 sq m. The building also features Masar Service Centre, which offers an integrated platform for investors to obtain approvals, permits and licenses necessary for their projects under one roof and within a defined timeframe.
Agreement signed for provision of maritime services for ships in Oman
Sohar Port and the Freezone signed three agreements with a number of companies operating in the field of sea transport for the provision of maritime services for ships which anchor at the port. The agreement's signing is a step to empower the sustainable growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and to further boost entrepreneurship. The agreements were signed with Al Risiah Shipping and Trading Services; Gulf Global Land and Sea Services and National Marine Services. The three companies will offer ship cleaning services, underwater surveys and underwater repair among other services. This cooperation opens horizons for the achievement of in-country value (ICV) and provides SMEs with the opportunity to offer high-quality services for ships with low maintenance costs and reaffirms the commitment of Sohar Port and the Freezone to the enhancement of the sea transport industry.
Agreement signed to develop & manage port in Oman
The Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, Oman signed a framework agreement with 'QSS Maritime' to develop, manage and operate Shinas Port. The agreement stems from the ministry's efforts to attract more foreign investments, as well as international and local companies specialized in the management and operation of ports. Under the agreement, the company will develop, manage and operate Shinas Port through 3 phases. The first stage includes the formation of a committee to receive and hand over the port.
The second phase will see the start of development, management and operation of Shinas port, with effect from 1 November 2023. This phase also includes the preparation of a commercial and marketing plan and a new masterplan covering a period of 8 months. Final negotiations will begin during the third stage, a period of 12 months during which steps will be taken to prepare for signing of a long-term agreement to develop, manage and operate the port for a period of 30 years.
Agreement signed for new aquaculture project in Oman
Bahwah Services and Trading LLC and Muscat Investment House, have joined forces with Singapore-based Blue Aqua International to embark on a groundbreaking aquaculture project. The collaborative effort aims to construct a state-of-the-art facility spanning 22 hectares of land in Shinas, Oman. The project is projected to yield substantial quantities of white shrimp, Rainbow Trout and aquafeed, contributing significantly to Oman's aquaculture production. The aquaculture project in Shinas holds immense promise, with an estimated production capacity of 1.32 million metric tonnes (MT) of white shrimp, 3,000 MT of Rainbow Trout, and 30,000 MT of aquafeed. This ambitious venture will not only enhance Oman's self-sufficiency in seafood production but also position the nation as a major player in the aquaculture sector. The aquaculture project will leverage advanced technologies and sustainable practices to maximise productivity while minimising environmental impact. The implementation of efficient water management systems, waste treatment protocols, and biosecurity measures will ensure the project meets the highest global standards for sustainability and quality assurance.
The establishment of the aquaculture project in Shinas is expected to generate employment opportunities and drive economic growth in the region. The project will create jobs across various sectors, including farming, processing, logistics, and research and development. Moreover, the initiative will attract investments and foster collaboration within the aquaculture value chain, benefitting local communities and contributing to the overall socio-economic development of Oman. The partnership between Bahwah Services, Muscat Investment House, and Blue Aqua International represents a significant milestone in Oman's aquaculture industry. By harnessing the expertise and resources of these companies, the aquaculture project in Shinas is poised to revolutionise the aquaculture sector in the country and establish Oman as a regional leader in sustainable seafood production. The Shinas project marks the most recent endeavor undertaken by the three companies. Bahwah Services and Muscat Investment House have announced their intention to invest in Blue Aqua's proposed recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) trout farm in Singapore, as per a recently signed agreement. This investment aims to expedite the construction process of the farm, which is anticipated to commence operations in 2024, with an annual trout production capacity of 3,000 metric tonnes (MT). Furthermore, the Omani companies have expressed their support for Blue Aqua International's plans to establish a super-intensive indoor shrimp farm with a capacity of 1,000 MT, as well as a 30,000 MT aquafeed mill, both located in Singapore.
Agreement signed to establish metal production plant in Oman
Oman's Sohar Port and Freezone signed a land lease agreement with Sohar Noble Metals (FZC) Company, for the production of Vanadium and Niobium metals in Sohar Freezone to the tune of USD 7 million. The project will significantly enrich the minerals portfolio in the zone, enhancing industrial diversity. Vanadium and Niobium play crucial roles as additives in the metals industry, enhancing the strength and durability of various types of metals. Moreover, the project, covering an area of 5,000 square metres, will be designed and constructed to supply the superalloys industries within the United States and Europe markets with Vanadium and Niobium ingots.
The production of Vanadium and Niobium Plant in Sohar Freezone represents a significant milestone and a crucial step in our continuous efforts to industrial diversification. Establishing the plant reflects our commitment to foster a robust industrial ecosystem, reassuring our strategic role in driving the end-to-end metal manufacturing value chain. The project output is expected to attract further investments from companies reliant on these crucial metals which will enhance the continuous development of Sohar Freezone.
Ground breaking ceremony to be held soon on new bridge within a community in Oman
Alargan, a renowned property developer in Oman, is set to break ground this month, August 2023 on an Irish bridge coming up within its Telal Al Qurm Development in capital Muscat. Telal Al Qurm is a signature project by Alargan, providing an ideal community of comfort and leisure, in the heart of the city. The mixed-use development includes over 1,500 apartments, 46 townhouses, as well as 190 serviced apartments. The picturesque setting is complemented by two 4 star hotels with a total of 370 keys, an aqua park, cinema complex and commercial spaces. Designed into the development are office spaces, making it the ideal destination to live, explore and work. This comes following the official approval by the Muscat Municipality for the construction of the bridge. Breaking ground on August 20, 2023, the four-month transformative project will adhere to the strict Oman Highway Design Standards 2017. The approval was granted following a comprehensive hydrology study that will ensure structural stability and efficient water flow during rainy seasons and all year round. The implementation of meticulous drainage measures will further optimize surface water drainage.
Alargan has gone beyond the development's land boundary, showcasing its dedication to community development by solely funding the Irish bridge connection in the public domain. The bridge, measuring 4x4 m with 27 cells, will play a pivotal role in establishing an uninterrupted connection to Telal Al Qurm throughout the year, ensuring the safety and security of the residents of Telal Al Qurm as well as the neighbourhood and the general population. This transformative initiative amplifies Alargan's vision of creating thriving communities that set new standards in modern living, making Telal Al Qurm an address of distinction. The seamless connectivity forged by the bridge is set to bolster the overall value of the project, enriching the investment potential for residents and stakeholders alike.
Construction update revealed for animal feed production plant in Oman
The animal feed production plant, being implemented by the Oman Flour Mills Company in the Wilayat of Muttrah, the project has reached 70 percent completion. The plant is a part of Oman Flour Mills Company's efforts to contribute to achieving the objectives of Oman's Vision 2040 by enhancing the inputs of the circular economy and benefiting from raw materials. Raw materials, which are available in the local environment, is used to produce a range of animal feed products in an economical, sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. The implementation of the factory comes as part of the company's investments to enhance food security and provide value-added products locally to meet the needs of the Sultanate of Oman.
The factory, which was launched in November 2022, has entered advanced stages of completion, and work in it is progressing at a rapid pace. The components of the feed mill are being installed, while the premixing unit is undergoing final testing and calibration to ensure that they meet the required production standards. The entire project is scheduled to be completed in October 2023, as a result of the efforts made by the work team to deliver the factory on time. The new animal poultry feed factory and its pre-mixing unit and its advanced automated systems will make a quantum leap in meeting the growing demands in the local markets. The animal feed production plant is an ambitious project capable of producing 20 tonnes of animal feed per hour. This facility includes a pre-mixing unit capable of producing six tonnes of pre-mixing per hour of meeting the specific nutritional requirements of different animal species. The factory uses innovative technology, as the feed factory was equipped with the latest technology to improve efficiency and productivity, and the integration of robot systems to stack finished products on pallets is one of the prominent features of this project. These robots simplify the packaging process which reduces the cost of packaging and ensures consistency and accuracy in filling. The factory uses advanced control systems in the project, which regulate the production process and the operation of the entire factory. This level of automation allows for precise control and monitoring of ingredients and the mixing and production process as a whole, which leads to the production of high-quality feed at a superior level. Automated control systems also provide real-time data on production metrics, allowing for quick adjustments and effective decision-making.
The animal feed factory will supplement the efforts made to develop livestock, enhance self-sufficiency in feed, and improve the productivity and quality of local products through the localization and development of these industries to keep pace with the increased demand for these products in the local and regional markets, as well as reduce dependence on imports. Animal feed factories are one of the main elements for the development of the agricultural and livestock sector in the Sultanate of Oman, as they contribute to improving productivity and quality, enhancing sustainability, self-sufficiency and food, and supporting the growth of the national economy.
Agreement signed for establishing a veterinary vaccine manufacturing plant in Oman
National Veterinary Vaccine Co LLC (NVVCo), backed by Oman Food Investment Holding Company (Nitaj), has signed an agreement to set up a first-of-its-kind veterinary vaccine manufacturing plant at Sohar Freezone. NVVCo, which is jointly promoted by Nitaj (part of Oman Investment Authority) and the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development (AAAID), has tapped leading consultancy firm STI Engineering to design and oversee the construction of the state-of-the-art animal vaccine production facility. This will be the first such facility in the Sultanate of Oman, a landmark initiative that underscores the commitment to advancing veterinary healthcare in the region. This veterinary vaccine project will be implemented in two phases: Phase I targets the aseptic filling and production of 114.5 million doses of different vaccines over an expansion plan period of five years; and Phase II – the production of 144 million doses of different vaccines from year 5 onward.
OMR1 million contract signed for expanding a factory in Oman
Samail Industrial City, which falls under the umbrella of the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (Madayn), has signed a contract with Flexible Rubber Factory to expand the project, involving an investment of up to OMR1 million and covering a total area of 20,000 sqm. This expansion aligns with the efforts of supporting circular economy practices, promoting recycling initiatives, and boosting local value-added services. The factory is the first of its kind in the Sultanate, specialising in recycling used tires and transforming them into rubber-derived products following the process of extracting steel from the rubber powder. Notably, Marn stands as the exclusive factory in the Gulf region that extracts and exports rubber dough to global markets for tire manufacturing. The factory stands out for its 100% Omani management, and notably, 30% of the production lines have been locally manufactured within the factory itself. A remarkable feat of the factory is its 100% waste recycling rate, leaving no room for additional waste. Moreover, the factory plays a significant role in generating opportunities at the local level, as rubber dough is used in the manufacturing of a wide array of products, including shoes, waterproof materials, asphalt, and various rubber-based products.
Contract award is expected for water distribution network expansion in Oman
Oman Water and Wastewater Services Company (Nama Water Services) is expected to award the design and supervision consultancy contract for its Water Distribution Networks Extension Projects for All Governorates Except Dhofar by the fourth quarter of 2023. The design and supervision consultancy contract is expected to be awarded by end of November 2023, the tender was issued on 27 July 2023 and the bid submission deadline is scheduled on 4 September 2023. The scope of work involves the construction, supply, installation of water distribution pipeline networks. Seven companies were prequalified for the project, adding that completion is slated for the first quarter of 2026. The project value at $100 million.
MoU signed to establish transport logistics solution in Oman
Oman and Etihad Rail Company (OERC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oman-headquartered integrated steel company Jindal Shadeed Iron & Steel (Jindal) to establish an end-to-end transport logistics solution between Jindal's steel complex at Sohar Port and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), via the UAE-Oman Rail Network. The MoU will pave the way for Jindal to annually transport up to four million tonnes of raw materials and finished products from its steel complex at Sohar Port to the UAE.
Under the terms of the agreement, OERC will leverage its rail network to support Jindal through facilitated loading and unloading processes while guaranteeing rolling stock and facilities' requirements. OERC has recently entered several commercial and investment partnerships with major international players in various industrial sectors to provide innovative logistics solutions and facilities.
Agreement signed for establishing new steel fabrication unit in Oman
SOHAR Port and Freezone has signed a land lease agreement with SCME Projects Pvt Ltd (FZC) LLC, which is establishing a steel fabrication unit within Sohar Freezone. This agreement is geared towards fostering seamless integration in the mining sector's business ecosystem and providing comprehensive industrial services like project development to operational support and mechanical maintenance of FAP, effectively reducing construction costs. With a total investment of $1.3 million and total area of 5,000 sqm, the investment from SCME Projects Pvt Ltd (FZC) LLC highlights the attractiveness of Sohar Freezone for foreign investors, setting the stage for future foreign direct investment in the region.
Pact signed to provide storage & handling services to Oman
Khazaen Dry Port (KDP) signed a new service agreement with the National Mineral Water Company SAOG (Tanuf) to provide storage, transport and handling services through KDP's top-notch facilities. With this agreement, Tanuf will capitalise on Asyad Group's state-of-the-art integrated logistics ecosystem through KDP, reducing distribution times and logistics costs. Tanuf will also leverage KDP's strategic location in proximity to Oman's major consumer hubs, commercial ports and Muscat International Airport to optimize transportation and storage operations.
KDP's partnership with Tanuf is further proof of the port's vital role in the domestic supply chain, boasting an integrated logistics offering and comprehensive infrastructure that encompasses developed storage facilities and advanced technical capabilities. Situated in Oman's flagship Khazaen Economic City (KEC), KDP is ideally positioned to meet the local market's demand, in line with Asyad's commitment to empowering Oman's private sector with unparalleled access to major regional and global markets.
Agreement signed to establish silicon metal plant in Oman
Sohar Port and Freezone signed a land lease agreement with Green Ferro Alloy (FZC) LLC to establish Oman's first silicon metal plant in Sohar Freezone. With a total investment of US$68mn, this project reinforces Sohar's position as a global trade hub and represents a significant milestone in the economic growth and diversification of the region, meeting the growing demand for silicon metal in Asia, Europe, and North America. The silicon metal plant, which will occupy a land area of 160,000sqm, will be designed and built to produce high-quality silicon metal, initially at a capacity of 25,000TPA in the first phase and expanding to 50,000TPA in the second phase.
The molten silicon metal is poured from the furnace to ladles and moulds, expertly cooled through moulds or continuous casting. After cooling, the silicon metal is crushed and packaged in large bags, ready for global export. This innovative process ensures premium quality silicon metal for our valued customers worldwide. By leveraging the strategic advantages provided by Sohar Freezone and its proximity to key markets, the establishment of the first silicon metal factory in the sultanate will strengthen the mining sector in the area. The establishment of the first silicon metal plant in Oman showcases dedication to diversifying industries.
New agreement signed for the construction of cooling plant in Oman
The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Oman signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement with Tabreed Oman SAOC. According to this agreement, Tabreed Oman will undertake the construction of the central cooling plant for Innovation Park Muscat and operate it in accordance with the highest technical and professional standards. The sustainable cooling plant will be located within Innovation Park Muscat, with a total land area of 1,500 square meters. It will provide the necessary cooling infrastructure for a wide variety of existing and future buildings, with a total concession cooling capacity of 10,000 Refrigeration Tons (RT).
New joint venture announced to support the growth of EV in Oman
Oman Oil Marketing Company SAOG has announced a collaboration with Synergy Investments LLC to support the growth of Electric Vehicle infrastructure in the Sultanate of Oman. A binding Heads of Terms pact signed earlier aims to establish 'Electric Vehicles One' (EVO), a new entity focused on developing Oman's electric vehicle infrastructure. The formal agreement, inked on July 3, 2023, marks a significant milestone in the advancement of electric mobility in Oman. Notably, both parties will be contributing capital in the form of assets, valuated as per a comprehensive asset valuation report. EVO's core business activities will revolve around the trading, installation, operation, and maintenance of cutting-edge electric vehicle charging stations.
In addition, EVO will offer a suite of ancillary services and products, designed to complement Oman's evolving electric vehicles ecosystem. The joint endeavor is propelled by a shared vision to expand the electric vehicle market in Oman and drive the adoption of sustainable, green energy solutions. By combining their expertise and resources, Oman Oil Marketing Company SAOG and Synergy Investments LLC aim to spearhead the sustainable transportation movement in the region.
Tenders announced for road dualization project in Oman
The Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology (MTCIT) has announced tenders for two crucial road dualisation projects. Of these, one project is in Dhofar, focusing on the Raysut-Al Mughsayl route, and the other in South Sharqiyah involves completion of the road from the LNG Roundabout to Bilad Sur Roundabout in Sur. MTCIT detailed the scope of the Raysut–Al Mughsayl dualisation project. The 27km project will commence from the Raysut roundabout, near the Port of Salalah, and conclude in the Al Mughsayl area of Salalah. This project's goal is to enhance infrastructure by developing the dual carriageway, connecting it to November 18th Road (Ring Road) via a double lane approximately 5.5km long. This connection will increase the project's total length to 33km. Additional features include a 1.5km service road, three intersections, five livestock crossings and two roundabouts.
Each traffic lane on the main road and the Ring Road will be 3.65m wide, with an outer shoulder of 2.5m, an inner shoulder of 1.5m, and a median island of 5m. The project's execution is anticipated to span a period of 30 months from commencement of works. The tender for dualisation of the road from LNG roundabout to Bilad Sur roundabout will include completion of the remaining 3km to the Bilad Sur roundabout, service roads spanning 6km and implementing protection works on both sides of the road.
MoU signed to establish strategic opportunities in Oman
Emirates Steel Arkan has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oman's leading steel products manufacturer Al Jazeera Steel Product Company (AJSP) to establish a strategic framework for collaboration, further benefitting from joint product expertise and seizing new opportunities in the steel business ecosystem. This MoU comes at a time when Al Jazeera Steel is establishing a medium-section rolling mill in Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi (KEZAD) along with plans to introduce a tube mill and heat-treated alloy round bars. As part of the MoU, Emirates Steel Arkan has the opportunity to supply semis, including billets, blooms and beam blanks to AJSP's upcoming factory in Abu Dhabi or existing factory in Suhar, Oman. The two parties will also research options for collaboration in-promotion and marketing of finished products involving light and medium sections from AJSP and heavy sections from ESA.
Consultant search underway for a mixed-use development in Oman
Tendering out for road dualization in Oman
The Raysut – Mughsayl carriageway, a vital roadway providing access to some of Dhofar's biggest tourist attractions as well as Oman's southwestern-most wilayats bordering Yemen, has been tendered out for dualization. Suitably qualified local and international contractors have been invited by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology to submit their offers for the multimillion-dollar project. Targeted for dualisation is a 27km stretch that begins at Raysut Roundabout at the entrance to the Port of Salalah and extends all the way to the social housing complex at Mughsayl. But in addition to a new track on the either side of the carriageway, the dualised road will also include three interchanges, two roundabouts and five animal crossings – all designed to ensure the delivery of a streamlined, all-weather and climate-resilient blacktop that serves the growing needs of western Dhofar Governorate. Additionally, a new 5km bypass to Salalah will be created to ensure the dualised carriageway is well integrated into the local road network.
Significantly, the project is part of a portfolio of strategic road ventures identified by the Ministry for early implementation. At a media briefing held earlier 2023, Ministry officials pledged to complete the delivery of pending and new road projects of an aggregate length of over 1,300 kilometres during 2023. Listed for implementation are: Dibba-Lima-Khasab road, completion of the Batinah coastal road (Barka- Suwaiq), the Harweeb-Al Mazyouna-Metin road, completion of the Sharqiyah Expressway project, dualisation of the HaimaThamrait highway and Jaalan Bani Bu Ali-Jaalan Bani Bu Hasan road, in addition to the Raysut – Mughsayl project. The latter project will enable speedy and convenient access for tourists to the famous blowholes at Mughsayl, one of the most visited attractions, during the khareef season. The coastline in these parts, punctuated by white-sand beaches, is also a significant draw for beach-based leisure activities. Beyond Mughsayl, the road leads to the wilayats of Dhalkout and Rakhyut, which are home to varied natural and historical attractions. Damaged in parts by back-to-back cyclones in 2020, the Raysut – Mughsayl stretch will be built to international standards to ensure its roadworthiness even in severe weather events. The tender for submission of commercial and technical bids for the contract is August 21, 2023.
First biological medicines factory’s foundation stone laid in Oman
Opal Bio Pharma Company held a ceremony to celebrate laying the foundation stone for the second phase of the first Omani factory for biological medicines and vaccines in the Sultanate of Oman. To be establishment with an investment RO 60 million, the plant will come up on a 37,000 sqm site at Khazaen Economic City. Its construction will be completed in two years. The factory will place Oman on the global vaccines production map and offers the country an opportunity to export medical drugs to other countries of the world. The project will provide many employment opportunities for Omanis who are holders of different academic qualifications. The unit will also cut down dependence on the imports of medical drugs, notably during health crises and disasters. The factory is the first of its kind in the Pharmaceutical City at Khazaen and that the unit targets local and foreign markets.
Khazaen Economic City, which constitutes one of the pillars of Oman Vision 2040, was embarked on attracting pharmaceutical industries as part of their strategic importance in medical drugs' security. The Ministry of Health affirmed that investment in this project responds to the requirements of the current stage aimed at placing Oman on the global map of advanced countries. The objectives include the establishment of a diversified economy based on integration among all sectors, as well as the realization of national aspirations to reach drug security. Major industries localized in the medical drugs city include insulin production, human biological vaccines, veterinary medicines and vaccines, medical supplies and dental implant industries.
Plans underway to interlinking transmission system via cable in Oman
In line with its long-term strategy to build a unified national grid that provides reliable and cost-competitive electricity to consumers, Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC) plans to connect Masirah. Island off Oman's eastern seaboard to its transmission system via a subsea power cable – a first such large-scale undertaking of this kind. The cable – spanning a total distance of 33 kilometres under the Masirah Channel – is proposed to extend from a 132 kV overhead transmission running 60 kilometres from Mahout on the mainland all the way to the coast. When operational by around late 2026, the project will help end Masirah Island's longstanding dependence of diesel-powered electricity generation and enable supplies from a national grid that is being increasingly served by solar and wind-based power generation. The project, managed by the Oman Electricity Transmission Company, aims to develop the island, improve the efficiency and integration of the national electricity transmission network, reduce fossil fuel (diesel) consumption, which will result in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the cost of energy production. A network of diesel-powered plants operated by the Rural Areas Electricity Company (Tanweer) – part of Nama Group – currently meets the island's energy needs. But with parts of the island designated for significant infrastructure, commercial, economic, fisheries and tourism development, electricity demand growth is anticipated to climb sharply in the coming years. OETC, majority owned by Nama Group, has also been making substantial investments in expanding its two standalone transmission systems in the north and south of the country into one interconnected national grid. Phase 1 of the 400 kV interconnection project (known as 'Rabt') has enabled the expansion of the Main Interconnection System (MIS) not only southeastwards towards Duqm (and eventually south to Dhofar), but also eastwards towards Mahout.
In the process, massive new tracts of desert land, suitable for renewable and green energy development, have been opened up for potential investment. The presence of transmission lines will enable the evacuation of green electricity from future projects set up in these parts. Significantly, the subsea cable connection to Masirah Island is part of a new initiative by OETC to supply relatively small loads to remote areas falling within Tanweer's auspices. It centres on the implementation of a High Voltage Tapping Scheme involving 400 kV lines – a project slated for completion by Q2 2025. Besides Masirah Island, coverage from the national grid will also be extended to Khuwaimah, Shahba Asaib, Mudhai, and Al Mazyunah by Q4 2026. These proposed extensions will enhance efficiency and reduce the cost of energy by displacing the existing diesel generation.
Contract signed for seismic acquisition in Oman
Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), through its subsidiary, and Shell Development Oman (SDO) have signed a contract for Seismic Acquisition in Block 11, signifying a major advancement in Oman's oil and gas industry. Based on this agreement, SDO is purchasing fully-processed seismic data on Block 11 in line with Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA).
Spanning 2,900sqkm in the central region of Oman, Block 11 is an area that could hold significant hydrocarbon potential. To identify and evaluate prospective hydrocarbon reserves, the seismic survey employs sophisticated technologies, including high-resolution imaging and advanced data processing techniques.
Pact signed to set up waste treatment plant in Oman
SOHAR Port and Freezone signed a land lease agreement with Elite Hazardous Waste Management Solution (FZC), to set-up a Hazardous Waste Treatment Plant in Sohar Freezone. The agreement aims to enhance waste management practices in the region, while promoting sustainability and enhancing the circular economy cluster in Sohar Freezone. With a total investment of US$3.5mn, the plant – with an area of 10,000sqm designed to treat industrial waste – will ensure compliance with local and international regulations for a pollution-free environment. The plant's produced end products will include heavy oil for utilisation in slow-moving machines, as well as low-contamination carbon dust suitable for cement and road construction industries. This agreement further bolsters our dedication to resource efficiency and supports the circular economy principles outlined in Oman Vision 2040. With an initial production capacity of 40 tonnes per day, the plant will eventually produce 80 tonnes per day within one year. The agreement signifies the strong commitment of Elite Hazardous Waste Management Solution (FZC) and SOHAR Port and Freezone towards advancing waste management practices and fostering economic growth in the region.
Contract awarded for drilling & producing oil in Oman
Petrogas Rima Company has awarded a contract to Alshawamikh Oil Services Company, to drill and produce oil in the Rima field, located in the concession area, block 6. With this agreement, Alshawamikh moves forward with its quest in the field of oil and gas to expand its services in this vital sector, in the Sultanate of Oman. This contract is extremely important and represents a strategic direction for the Alshawamikh Company in diversifying and expanding the scope of their activities in the oil and gas sector in the Sultanate of Oman. It also represents their first contract in the field of oil well drilling, one of the areas in which large local community companies rarely explore.
$11.3bn Tourism complexes development granted in Oman
Oman's Ministry of Heritage and Tourism has granted 19 licences for integrated tourism complexes, including a number of projects across the governorates of Muscat, Dhofar, South Al Sharqiyah, South Al Batinah and Musandam. On completion, these projects will boast 81 hotel facilities offering 16,576 hotel rooms, 2,552 apartment hotels and villas and 42,617 housing units, in addition to golf courses and a number of harbours, restaurants, cafes and shops. These ITCs provide a qualitative addition to the tourism sector, including hotels, recreational and commercial facilities and real estate units, which contribute to diversifying tourism products and destinations.
This is achieved through raising the number of hotel rooms, the quality of services and the recreational service facilities, as well as providing direct and indirect job opportunities. The total investment volume in the ITC projects is estimated at RO4.376 billion (($11.3 billion) for complexes under implementation and RO3.12 billion ($8.1 billion) in other licensed projects that are in the pre-implementation phase. The integrated tourism complexes are a modern style of tourism cities that provide all services and facilities under one roof. Residents of such complexes can live with no need to leave the boundaries of the complex, where the integration of residential, tourism, recreational, sports and commercial facilities contribute to providing the foundations of a new living experience. These integrated complexes also provide the opportunity for non-Omanis to own property, constituting a mixture of different interactive cultures and providing an opportunity to attract capital and businesspeople to reside in the sultanate and provide a supportive base for the national efforts aimed at attracting investments.
The integrated tourism complexes have added new dimensions to the tourism sector at the levels of modern and unique architecture in parallel with the quality of the integrated infrastructure. Integrated tourism also offers a wide range of options in terms of tourism facilities and services, which are among the most important pillars of tourism development. Such integrated complexes have become tourism destinations for tourists to enjoy various facilities. The hotels component provides the tourism market with hundreds of hotel rooms that provide high levels of luxury and a variety of styles.
Invitation of bids announced for recreational centre in Oman
To make Duqm a destination of choice for families and entrepreneurs alike, the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ) is planning to develop a recreational centre catering to people from all walks of life. Through its Internal Committee, OPAZ is inviting bids from local entities - of excellent and first grade - to participate in the project to design and build Social, Lifestyle and Recreational Amenity in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm. The project aims to create a vibrant and engaging space that enhances the quality of life for residents, workers and visitors within the zone. The Social, Lifestyle and Recreational Amenity will serve as a focal point for community engagement and provide a wide range of facilities and services. OPAZ mandates that the design should incorporate innovative and sustainable concepts that promote well-being, leisure activities and foster a sense of belonging. The amenity should offer diverse spaces for relaxation, entertainment, sports and cultural events.
Agreement signed for exploration and extraction of potash ore in Oman
The Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MEM) recently finalised a concession agreement for exploration and extraction of potash ore. The agreement is for concession area No 53-A, which lies within the swamps of Umm As Sameem. By strategically allocating concession areas, MEM aims to overcome challenges related to reception of requests, establish an integrated geological and exploratory database, safeguard mineral ore sites from urban encroachment, and provide consistent exploration and mining opportunities in the sultanate. Emphasising minerals of high economic value, particularly metallic minerals, represents a shift in the ministry’s focus, resources and efforts. This move also seeks to attract international companies specialised in exploration and mining, thereby bolstering the establishment of mining industries and generating valuable employment opportunities for the nation. Through this concession agreement, MEM has paved the way for sustainable growth and development in the mining sector, contributing to Oman’s economic prosperity and positioning the sultanate as a prominent player in the global mining landscape.
New agreement signed for potash ore exploration in Oman
The Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Oman signed a concession agreement in the mining sector for exploration and mining of potash ore in concession area No. 53-A in the swamp area of Umm Assameem. By designating concession areas in the mining sector, the Ministry seeks to achieve a number of goals, namely overcoming difficulties pertaining to the reception of requests, establishing an integrated database for geological, geophysical and exploratory surveys in all areas of Oman and providing regular and opportunities for exploration and mining in Oman as well as protecting the sites of mineral ores from urban expansion. The goals also include shifting the ministry's focus, efforts and resources on minerals of high economic value (metallic minerals), attracting international companies specialized in exploration and mining, empowering the establishment of mining industries and generating employment opportunities.
Bids invited for construction of a new multipurpose port in Oman
A tender has been floated for the construction of a new multipurpose port at Masirah Island off Oman's east coast – a multimillion rial investment that will energise the growth of the island's pivotal fisheries and fish processing sectors. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources is overseeing the implementation of the fisheriescentric harbour, although the facility will be designed and built to attract non-fisheries related investments as well. This is in line with the Omani government's strategy to leverage the country's expanding fishery harbour infrastructure in attracting investments in, for example, marinas for yachts and leisure boats, aqua sports and marine tourism, ferry services, and other commercial activities. Local construction firms with expertise in marine infrastructure development have been invited to bid for the Ministry's contract for the establishment of a mid-sized harbour featuring a pair of breakwater arms spanning a total distance of 4.1 kilometres. The basin itself, which covers an area of over 1 million square metres, will be dredged to depths varying between 5 and 6 metres. In addition to a quay wall of about 590 metres, the facility will also include a number of pontoons for trawlers, fishing boats, yachts and other marine vessels.
Overlooking this marine infrastructure is a 240,000 sq metre plot of land which has earmarked for buildings, utilities and other services necessary to support the operations of the port. Private investors have also been invited to set up commercial and economic activities to help maximize value creation from the new port. Opportunities for investment include boat and engine repair and maintenance workshops, ice-making plants, fish processing and fish meal projects, dhow tourism, and other such activities. Significantly, the Masirah Multipurpose Port is one of several infrastructure projects green-lighted for implementation as part of Oman's 10th Five Year Plan covering the 2021 – 2025 timeframe. The project was hailed as one of several infrastructure initiatives that would underpin Oman's socioeconomic development. The contribution of Oman's thriving fisheries sector to the national GDP continues to grow in step with investments in new harbour infrastructure, the expanding fleet of modern commercial trawlers with refrigerated facilities, the growth of value-added fish processing plants, the proliferation of aqua farms, and the introduction of modern fishing methodologies, among other trends. It totaled around RO 292 million in 2021, with a growth of 9.6 per cent over the previous year.
Agreement signed for potash mining deal in Oman
Oman's Minister of Energy and Minerals signed a concession agreement with Sindbad Mining Resources Co on the exploration and mining of potash ore in Concession Area 53-A in Umm Al Samim in Oman. The agreement will allow Sindbad Mining Resources Co to explore and mine potash ore in the area. Potash is an important fertilizer that is used to improve crop yields. The area is known to have rich deposits of potash. The agreement will help to develop the mining industry in Oman and create jobs for local people. Sindbad Mining Resources Co is a mining company based in Oman that specialises in the exploration and mining of minerals. The company has been involved in several mining projects in Oman including copper mining. Concession Area 53-A is located in Umm Al Samim which is an inland sabkha covering 2400 square kilometres straddling the border between Oman and Saudi Arabia. Sabkha is an Arabic word for a flat desert, usually close to water, and covered with salt crust. Umm Al Samim is one of the largest salt flats in the country and has been investigated recently to assess its suitability for potassium chloride production. This agreement will help to develop the mining industry in Oman and create jobs for people. It will also help to increase the production of potash which is an important fertilizer used to improve crop yields. The mining sector is a priority for Oman's economic diversification strategy, and the government has taken several steps to attract investment and promote the development of the sector. In addition to potash, Oman has significant reserves of other minerals, including copper, gold, and gypsum, which offer opportunities for investment and growth. The signing of the concession agreement between the Ministry of Energy and Minerals and Sindbad Mining Resources Co is a positive development for Oman's mining sector. The project has the potential to create jobs, generate revenue, and contribute to the country's economic growth. It also highlights the government's commitment to developing the mining sector and diversifying the economy.
Plans underway to develop integrated mining area in Oman
Minerals Development Oman is working to develop an integrated world-class mining area in Shuwaymiyah in the Wilayat of Shalim and the Hallaniyat Islands in the Dhofar Governorate. This project consists of three main quarries that will produce 40 million tonnes of limestone, dolomite and gypsum ores. The Shuwaimiyah industrial minerals project is one of the most prominent strategic projects in the production of industrial minerals that the company is working on within its concession areas, with an estimated area of 1,500 square kilometres. The construction works of the Shuwaimiya project will start in 2024, and commercial operation is expected to start in 2027. This will encourage the development of export operations and the establishment of downstream projects, such as the manufacture of steel, fertilizers, cement and chemical industries. The company started the first geological study of the project in 2017, after which preliminary economic feasibility studies were conducted in 2020, which confirmed the existence of promising commercial reserves of industrial raw materials that can be developed in the upper and lower parts, followed was by detailed economic feasibility studies in the past year, which will be completed within this year. The construction work of the project will begin in 2024 while commercial operation is expected to start in 2027. The project will work on producing dolomite stone, whose reserves amount to 1.3 billion tonnes, with a concentration of 19 percent of magnesium. Dolomite ore will be used in the fertilizer, steel and glass industries. The port will also include three berthing areas that can accommodate two Panamax vessels and one Cape class vessel at the same time.
Agreement signed to establish aqua feed manufacturing unit in Oman
The Special Economic Zone at Duqm (Sezad) signed a land usufruct agreement with the Blue Feeds Company, a jointly formed company between United Fish and Seapride to establish the first Aqua Feed Manufacturing Unit in the Zone in an area of over 20,000 square metres. The $20-million project will be established in the Fisheries and Food Industries Zone, which is located near the multi-purpose Fishing Port in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm, with a production capacity of 60,000 metric tonnes annually of shrimp and fish feed for the project's first phase, which can be increased in the future. It is worth noting that this project supports the government's efforts towards achieving food security by maximising the yield from the fish wealth that the Sultanate of Oman is rich of, localising the value-added chain of fish products and producing fishmeal and oil.
New agreements signed for green hydrogen production in Oman
Hydrogen Oman (Hydrom) has signed project development and usufruct agreements with international consortiums to develop two green hydrogen projects in Al Wusta governorate. The two agreements represent a total investment value of $10 billion. The total estimated production of the two projects will be 250,000 metric tonnes of green hydrogen, equivalent to 6.5 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity.
The first agreement was signed with the POSCO-ENGIE (MESCAT Middle East DMCC) consortium. The project will have a production capacity of about 200,000-220,000 tonnes per annum of green hydrogen (from 5.2 GW of renewable energy), which would be turned into ammonia for export. The investment has been estimated at $7-$8 billion. Other consortium partners include Samsung Engineering, Thai national petroleum company PTTEP (FutureTech Energy Ventures), and two Korean utilities - Korea East-West Power Co. (EWP) and Korea Southern Power Co. (KOSPO).
The second agreement was signed with the Hyport Duqm consortium, comprising of Belgium-based international contractor and developer DEME and Oman-based energy company OQ. The first phase of the project aims to produce about 50,000 tonnes per year of green hydrogen and associated ammonia (from 3 to 3.5 GW of renewable energy) for export. The first phase would be located mainly outside the Duqm freezone but the second phase is planned to be located completely in the Duqm freezone. The two agreements mark the closeout of the second part of the first round.
Construction work for new mining port to commence soon in Oman
Construction work on the Al Shuwaimiyah Industrial Minerals Complex in Dhofar Governorate - one of the biggest mining ventures of Minerals Development Oman (MDO) - is set to begin in 2024. The project will help unlock the mammoth limestone, dolomite and gypsum resources of the Wilayat of Shaleem & Al Halaniyat Islands, output from which will either be processed in value-adding domestic industries or exported globally to key markets in India, South-East Asia and East Asia via a new deep-sea port planned nearby. The project has advanced to the stage of conducting detailed economic feasibility studies, along with developing engineering designs for the port, as MDO has obtained the approval from the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology to establish a seaport linked to the project in the Wilayat of Shaleem & Al Halaniyat Islands. Covering concession areas of a massive 1,500 square kilometres, the Al Shuwaimiyah Industrial Minerals Project will seek to develop prodigious non-metallic minerals found in three mining concessions (61A, 61B and 61C) awarded to MDO in the wilayat. The most prolific of the discoveries is limestone - a key commodity with wide application in cement and steel manufacturing, mining, paper production, water treatment and purification, and plastic production.
Limestone reserves in the three concessions are estimated at 2.5 billion tonnes with purity pegged at 99 per cent. Also found in abundance is dolomite with high concentrations of magnesium suitable for the fertilizer, steel and glass industries. Dolomite reserves are estimated at around 1.3 billion tonnes, with 19 per cent magnesium oxide (MgO) content. Geological studies undertaken by MDO have also assessed the concession areas to hold a world-beating 960 million tonnes of gypsum (97 per cent purity), a non-metallic mineral used extensively in plaster, fertilizer and building materials, and a host of chemical compounds. Complementing this infrastructure is a plan for a deep mining port at Al Shuwaimiyah on the coast to handle the huge volumes of minerals coming out of the project for global export. Dredged to a depth of 20 metres, the deep-sea port will feature at least three mineral berths, of which two will be designed to handle Panamax-size vessels while the third berth will be suited for Capesize carriers. Each of the berths will also be equipped with high-capacity loaders. Following the completion of a preliminary feasibility study last year, the company has embarked on a detailed economic feasibility study along with the engineering design for a deep-sea port at Al Shuwaymiyah on the coast. Also envisaged is a conveyor system that will carry mined ore from the complex to the port at the rate of around 2,000 tonnes per hour. It follows the completion of an economic feasibility exercise that assessed the conveyor system to be the most effective and cost-competitive logistics solution for the transportation of the ore to the coast.
Multiple agreements signed for first phase of mixed-use development in Oman
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning (MHUP), along with several government and private entities, signed multiple agreements for the development of the first phase of Sultan Haitham City on 21 June, 2023. MHUP partnered with the Ministry of Health to establish RO90mn National Centre for Women and Children's Health, equipped with 500 beds. With the Ministry of Social Development, MHUP signed an agreement worth RO6mn to create a rehabilitation complex for people with disabilities. Additionally, an Advanced Technical College worth RO5mn will be established in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation and the National University, catering to 1,500 students. Furthering its collaboration efforts, MHUP joined forces with the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs to allocate RO2mn for the development of various facilities in the city, including funding from a housing programme for zakat recipients, construction of five mosques, and public councils. An agreement was also reached to enable the implementation of smart city technologies in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology, at a total cost of RO10mn.
Real estate development within Sultan Haitham City witnessed substantial progress through agreements with Ariane Real Estate and Al Abrar Real Estate. The former signed a RO327mn agreement for the development of District 9 and District 6, covering an expansive area of over 1.2mn sqm. The latter, Al Abrar Real Estate, entered into an agreement worth RO208mn to develop District 10, spanning 910,000 sqm. An agreement with Nama Group, valued at RO112mn, was signed to implement essential infrastructure services such as electricity, water, sewage, and irrigation in the first phase of the city. The Oman Broadband Company, ITHCA Group, and the Oman Towers Company inked agreements worth RO5mn to finance and establish the broadband network infrastructure in the city.
Proposals invited for multiple projects in Oman
The Public Establishment for Industrial Estates - Madayn has invited tenders for construction of a 3-star hotel, a health centre and a desalination plant in Sur Industrial City. These projects are part of the initiative to boost development in South Sharqiyah governorate. The deadline for bid submissions is July 13, 2023. The focus of the governorate is on attracting value-added projects that cater to the local market and align with the sustainable blue economy vision of South Sharqiyah. These projects also contribute to technology transfer in Oman. The projects cover various sectors such as generator and turbine manufacturing, furniture production, perfume manufacturing, aluminium processing, shipbuilding, fish freezing, fodder production, and supporting industries.
$10.4 million agreement signed to establish new chemicals project in Oman
SOHAR Freezone, a leading industrial hub in the region, announced a strategic partnership with Nasim Chemicals SFZ LLC, a prominent player in the chemical industry. This collaboration will witness the establishment of Dioctyl Phthalate and Dioctyl Terephthalate Plant within SOHAR Freezone, aimed at catering to the growing demand for high-quality chemical products in the GCC, India, and African markets. With a total investment of $10.4 million, the plant covers an area of 5,000 sqm and will boast a production capacity of 30,000 tons, reinforcing the region's industrial capabilities. The partnership will significantly boost the logistics movement and elevate the throughput levels with more than 2000 TEUs annually. The establishment of the Dioctyl Phthalate and Dioctyl Terephthalate Plant further strengthens SOHAR Freezone's position as a key industrial player for business and innovation in the region. This collaboration aligns perfectly with our vision of fostering economic growth and attracting strategic investments to Oman. The plant will create downstream opportunities including the production of PVC products as plastic film and sheets, wire and cable insulation, and flooring and wall coverings. It will be developed in two phases, with construction commencing by the end of 2023. Production is estimated to commence by the end of 2024. The collaboration aligns with the objectives outlined in Oman Vision 2040.
$103m integrated entertainment project to be launched in Oman
Oman is launching an integrated entertainment project, Spray Boulevard, at an investment of RO40 million ($103 million) in Salalah, which will cater to both locals and tourists, adding value as an outlet for tourists and residents in the governorate. The design of the Spray Boulevard project won top government recognition and was declared one among the three best projects in a contest organised by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning.
Spread over a 470,000 sq m area, the project, which will be implemented on a public-private-partnership (PPP) will boast waterfront restaurants, a grand market, suspended walkways and a botanical garden in addition to suspended walkways, theatres and venue for specialised exhibitions and events. The Ministry of Finance will provide RO10 million funding for the first phase of infrastructure and related services while the rest will be financed by private sector institutions. The star attractions within the development, which is expected to be implemented within the next four years, are the Grand Market, The Square and Fountain Island. Once completed, Spray Boulevard is expected to draw 800,000 visitors during the Khareef Dhofar season, and 200,000 visitors during the rest of the seasons. The project will be instrumental in promoting local tourism as well as create jobs. It will also over the years turn into a global tourist destination with a wide range of events and exotic tourism experiences.
Agreement signed to revitalize castle in Oman
The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism (MHT) entered into an agreement with Al Hosoon Heritage Trading company for the running of the Khabourah Castle, a prominent monument in North Batinah governorate. Located just under 2km from the main centre of Sohar in the wilayat of Khaboura, the castle features a central courtyard and the main entrance on the northern side. The sultanate has recently started engaging private sector entities for the management of various historical sites and monuments to foster investments and employment.
It seeks to empower the private sector, specifically small and medium-sized enterprises and productive families, while creating marketing channels for artisans. This initiative is the fallout of a thorough study on how to improve the tourism sector and related industries. Implementation of value-added projects was found to be appropriate in engaging the local community and revitalise cultural heritage sites, all in line with the Oman Vision 2040 and the tenth Five Year Plan (2021-25). MHT's commitment lies in developing and offering diverse tourist destinations across Oman, elevating historical monuments as prominent tourist attractions. This endeavour aims to showcase the richness of Omani civilisation, the authenticity of its cultural heritage, and the unique Omani culture. Forts and castles in Oman hold great appeal for tourists due to their significance in the history.
RO44mn New investments received in Oman
Sohar Industrial City saw a surge in investment activity. The industrial hub, affiliated to the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (Madayn), recently drew 24 applications for investment. Sixteen of the applications materialised in the form of contracts signed for investment in industrial, service and commercial sectors to the tune of OMR44 million. Sohar Industrial City houses 375 projects, with a total investment volume of OMR2.2 billion. The city, which has a total area of 30 million square metres, provides employment for 13,828 workers, of whom 41.7 percent are Omanis. Madayn has made great strides in completing a project to develop the 7th phase of the industrial city.
Madayn completed 95 percent of the project, which includes a 32-km road network, a water network and a sewerage network. This is in addition to a treatment plant with a capacity of 2,000 cubic metres, a rainwater drainage network, a dyke for protection against floods, an irrigation network and two water supply tanks having a total capacity of 2,700 cubic metres. Madayn also floated a tender for a project to study and evaluate phases 1 to 6 in terms of existing infrastructure, development plans and services for a total area of more than 18 million square metres. The upgrade covers the installation of security gates to raise the efficiency of loading and unloading operations and supply chains (namely by monitoring the entry and exit of trucks to and from the city).
Plastic Complex project began to attract investments for producing polyethylene and plastic bags, with investments worth OMR2 million. The project occupies an area estimated of 12,000 sqm, the industrial city embarked in a cooperation bid with OQ Group to market the project abroad. The step includes organising visits to major plastic manufacturers in different countries of the world and to offer several incentives. Sohar Industrial City plans to establish a solar cell plant with a capacity of 86 megawatts, as a first stage, to keep pace with the global transition to clean energy. The project, scheduled to be completed by 2025, is expected to contribute towards the realisation of Oman's carbon neutrality strategy (zero carbon emissions) by 2050.
Three new mega projects launched in Oman
Oman's Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning has unveiled its plans for three mega projects in the Dhofar, Musandam, and South Al Batinah governorates of the country. The announcement took place during a significant meeting between ministry officials and governors in the city of Muscat in June 2023.
- Rathath (Drizzle) Boulevard in Dhofar:
Rathath (Drizzle) Boulevard in Dhofar is a venture that spans a four-year duration and is valued at RO40 million. It sprawls across an expansive 470,000 square meters in Itin, Salalah. The project features an artificial waterway, a water feature, and dining establishments offering a fusion of local and international cuisine. Additionally, it includes an educational garden showcasing diverse plant life, suspended pathways, theatres, commercial areas, and a versatile hub for hosting various events. The primary objective of Rathath Boulevard is to develop a comprehensive recreational destination that embraces Omani customs and traditions, catering to both domestic and international visitors.
- Rimal Park in South Al Batinah:
Rimal Park in South Al Batinah has a project duration of two years and a valuation of RO6.9 million. It is nestled along the scenic Al Batinah Expressway, spanning three kilometres from an integrated service station. Encompassing an area of 225,000 square meters, Rimal Park offers a vacation retreat, a theme park, and an aerial cableway providing panoramic views. Other features include mobile food vendors, a shopping complex, and a parking facility. The key objective of Rimal Park is to promote sustainable tourism, stimulate employment opportunities, and support small and medium-sized enterprises.
- Aames Bay Development in Musandam:
Aames Bay Development in Musandam is located in Niyabat Lima and aims to improve connectivity and enhance the region's infrastructure. With a project duration of 1.9 months and a valuation of RO6.9 million, this endeavour seeks to ignite tourism, foster new investment avenues, and contribute to the overall urban and social development and well-being of the governorate. The project covers an area of 68,700 square meters, providing an ideal setting for growth and progress.
After a meticulous assessment and approval process, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning will collaborate with the Ministry of Finance to allocate the necessary financial resources for the successful implementation of these projects. The initiative is part of a greater effort to encourage the regions to identify development projects that align with the National Strategy for Urban Development - a blueprint that guides Oman's urban expansion in line with the visionary Oman Vision 2040.
New contract to be awarded for administration building design in Oman
Oman's Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (Madayn) is expected to award the design, supervision and lead consultancy contract for its New Administration Building for Sohar Industrial City, Oman, by third quarter 2023. The tender for the design and lead consultancy service was floated on 7 May 2023 and the bid closing date is scheduled for 20 June 2023. The contract is expected to be awarded early September 2023. The prequalified bidders comprised of :-
- Al Sorouh Designing and Engineering Consultancy,
- Milcris Pvt Ltd Oman,
- Razaz Engineering Consultancy,
- Semac and Partners,
- Razeen Engineering Consultancy,
- Al Manarah Engineering Consultancy,
- Abdulla Mukadam and Partner,
- Muscat Design Centre and Partners,
- ESpace Engineering Consultants,
- Al Sari Consulting and Investment,
- Eamar Engineering Consultancy,
- Al Abraj Consulting Engineers and Architects,
- SERING International Engineering Consultancy,
- Al Furjar Engineering Consultancy and Business,
- Modon Engineering Consultancy,
- Al Amur Engineering Consultant,
- National Engineering Office (NEO),
- Gulf Engineering Consultancy, and
- Tusker Engineering Consultancy
The consultant's scope includes combining the old and new buildings and submit a design to build a fully integrated building. The project is expected to be completed by end of fourth quarter 2025. The estimate of the project cost is $40 million.
Agreement signed for new mineral ores in Oman
Oman has signed 16 agreements to date in the mining sector. The agreements include 12 concession areas for metallic minerals with Minerals Development Oman (MDO), one concession area for laterite ore with British company Knights Bay and three concession areas for potash and lithium ore with Mawarid Mining, Tasnim and Ara. Oman is abundant in metallic mineral ores such as copper, chromium, iron ore, manganese and non-metallic ores such as marble, limestone, gypsum, clay, silica and dolomite sandstone. The Sultanate is the world's leading exporter of gypsum ore due to its high purity and abundant reserves.
RO 280 million contract awarded for an oil field in Oman
Leading Omani construction firm Galfar Engineering and Contracting SAOG has been awarded a multi-year contract with an estimated value of RO 280 million covering the delivery of off-plot facilities for the Qarn Alam Oil Field. The contract was awarded following a competitive tender process, and Galfar was selected for its strong track record in the oil and gas sector. The company has a long history of working with PDO, and has previously been awarded contracts for the development of the Marmul and Harweel oil fields. The award of the Qarn Alam contract is a significant milestone for Galfar, and is a testament to the company's expertise and capabilities. The contract is expected to create hundreds of jobs, and will boost the local economy. Galfar is committed to using local suppliers and contractors, and the contract is expected to have a positive impact on the local community.
Announcement of mega futuristic project in Oman
Oman has announced the launch of its futuristic project Sultan Haitham City, a mega development that will come up on a 15 million sq m area, featuring 20,000 residential units along with key modern lifestyle amenities as well as ample green space. The model of Sultan Haitham City features sustainable lifestyles embracing an architectural vision to accommodate all segments of society, giving them access to all social and recreational facilities and earning them a feeling of belonging. The city will focuses on 12 global standards on quality of life and welfare. The criteria range between affordable cost, advanced integrated facilities and modern lifestyles.
Sultan Haitham City, which has an area of over 2.9 million sq m, will be home to 100,000 residents. These housing units will be spread over 19 neighbourhoods, filled with various facilities and services for the residents. The futuristic city includes residential quarters, facilities and amenities including schools, hospitals and mosques. Sultan Haitham City, codenamed Treasure the Future. The brand identity and message of the city reflect a vision for building the most unique and dazzling city in the Sultanate of Oman. The visual logo of the city was inspired by pure nature, along with golden touches denoting luxury and power. The city will also have 11 health facilities, including two health centres that cater to the needs of 20,000 patients and another set of six health centres with a capacity to serve 10,000 patients. A key highlight is the 1,200-bed referral hospital in addition to a private hospital and a centre to serve persons with disability and elderly people. It will also boast 39 government and private schools.
The residents will be served through an internal transport network whose distances are carefully calculated to provide access to the largest possible number of facilities. The network will be suitable for public and private transport vehicles that smoothly crisscross the roads from the centre to the periphery. The city also boasts other features like pedestrian passages and bicycle paths to help diversify the methods of traffic, healthy lifestyles and sustainability of the environment.
New agreements signed to grant green hydrogen blocks in Oman
Hydrogen Oman (Hydrom) has signed three agreements granting the first green hydrogen blocks in Oman where first one is awarded through Phase A Round 1 public auction process, and the other two are awarded following the earlier signing of commercial term sheets on March 14 2023. The signing of these agreements signifies another key milestone of the sultanate's journey to become a global hub for green hydrogen production. The client signed the agreements with the winning bidders from Denmark, USA, UK, Kuwait, Singapore, and Oman during a special event on June 1, 2023 to announce the winners. The total investments in the three projects signed with the consortia of Amnah, Green Energy Oman (GEO) and BP Oman is expected to exceed US$20bn. These contracts are expected to yield a total production capacity of half a million tonnes of green Hydrogen per annum from more than 11.5GW of installed renewable energy capacity at the three sites, each covering an area of 320 square km in the Al Wusta governorate. The first of two blocks (Z1-01) in the public auction process launched in November last year was awarded to a consortium comprised of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), Blue Power Partners (BPP) and Al Khadra, part of Oman's Hind Bahwan Group. The consortium will develop around 200 KTPA of green hydrogen from 4.5GW of installed renewable energy capacity for planned green steel plants located in Port of Duqm, within SEZAD. This ground-breaking project demonstrates the potential of harnessing renewable energy in supporting the diversification of the national economy and contributing to a low carbon future.
The second project was signed with BP Oman for the development of green hydrogen for ammonia production and export. The anticipated annual production for this project is 150 KTPA of green hydrogen from 3.5GW of installed renewables capacity in Block Z1-03.
The third project was signed with the consortium of Green Energy Oman (GEO) for the development of green hydrogen for ammonia export purposes. The consortium includes Oman’s integrated Energy Company OQ, Shell Oman, Kuwait's state-backed energy investor EnerTech (ETC), InterContinental Energy (ICE) and Golden Wellspring Wealth for Trading (GWWT). This project is expected to produce 150 KTPA of green hydrogen from 4GW of installed renewables capacity in Block Z1-04.
The signing of these project agreements with both BP Oman and GEO follows the earlier signing of commercial term sheets in March which regularised the legacy initiative projects under a regulatory framework in accordance with the Royal Decree 10/2023. During the event, a head-usufruct agreement was signed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning, the Ministry of Energy and Minerals and Hydrom. This agreement provides for the granting of land rights to Hydrom for the purposes of renewable energy and clean hydrogen projects as per the Royal Decree 10/2023 issued on February 16, 2023. In addition, Energy Development Oman (EDO) signed a Research and Development MoU with Siemens Energy, a leading global energy technology company. This agreement aims to establish collaboration in the fields of green hydrogen technology, innovation, and expertise exchange.
New pact signed for carbon removal project in Oman
Award-winning Omani carbon mineralization start-up 44.01 and Oman's Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MEM) have agreed a concession for the world's first commercial-scale peridotite mineralisation project. The project, which will begin in 2024 in the Hajar mountains, will be the largest peridotite mineralisation activity in the world, and the first commercial demonstration to mineralise multiple tonnes of CO2 per day. The project will take place at a site in Al Qabil, where 44.01 has already completed a successful pilot project to prove that their process is effective, safe and permanent.
44.01 will take CO2 captured from the atmosphere or from industrial processes, dissolve it in water and then inject it into peridotite formations deep underground, where it will mineralise, or turn into rock, meaning it can never escape back into the atmosphere. Peridotite, an ultramafic rock found in abundance across Oman, mineralises CO2 naturally, but this usually takes decades. 44.01's technology accelerates the process, offering a safe, permanent, scalable way of eliminating CO2 in less than a year. 44.01 eliminates CO2 by turning it into rock, removing it from the atmosphere safely, efficiently, and permanently.
Concession agreements signed for mining sector development in Oman
The Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Oman signed three agreements in the mining sector for exploring potash and lithium ore in Al Dhahirah and Al Wusta governorates. These agreements are in pursuit of a new methodology for the development of the mining sector, notably through the preparation of a concession agreement that covers legal, technical and financial instruments to be agreed by the Ministry and investors. The pact will spearhead the management of mineral ores' extraction from the specific concession areas. The agreements were signed by Minister of Energy and Minerals, and the companies, as follows:
- Mawarid Potash Mining Company (for Concession Area No. 53-B)
- Tasnim Projects Company (for Concession Area No. 53 - C) and
- Ara Natural Resources Company (for Concession Area No. 51 - C).
RO 11 Million agreements signed for development projects & services in Oman
Governor of Al Dakhiliyah, Oman signed several agreements to the tune of RO 11 million. The agreements cover implementing several projects, municipal services and development projects. The projects include paving internal roads in the Wilayats of Al Hamra, Buhla and Samail, in addition to improving the entrance to the Wilayat of Nizwa. Further, the projects include establishing a feed market in the Wilayat of Adam and a park in the Wilayat of Bidbid. Moreover, commercial areas will be developed in the Wilayats of Bidbid, Buhla, Nizwa and Manah.
New tender to be floated soon for an industrial city in Oman
The Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (Madayn) has completed the implementation of Phases 3 and 4 development works in Nizwa Industrial City, and is now gearing up to float a tender for the consultancy services project for Phase 5, covering an estimated area of 4 million sqm. Development works of Phases 3 and 4 were assigned to a local company in May 2020 as the total cost exceeded RO 5 million. The project included the construction of a 6.3-km internal roads, a paved pedestrian walkway along the roadsides, installation of 205 LED lighting poles, and the implementation of control and monitoring system at the industrial city's entrances and internal roads. The project also included two security guard rooms at the entrances, rainwater drainage channel, a 5.9-km irrigation network, an underground water tank, sewage and water networks, and fire-fighting system. Additionally, truck parking areas were created at the industrial city's entrance, comprising more than 90 parking spaces and covering a total area of 13,000 sqm, which will serve investors and cargo owners around the clock.
This project represents the commitment of Madayn towards supporting the growth of industrial cities and providing essential infrastructure services to attract both local and international investors. Madayn aims to further strengthen the contribution of these industrial cities to the in-country value in alignment with the priorities set forth in Oman Vision 2040. Nizwa Industrial City now covers a total area 7.2 million sqm following the approval of an expansion plan last year. The industrial city is home to 155 projects representing manufacturing, service and commercial sectors, recording investments exceeding RO 480 million. The workforce in the industrial city has reached 6,150, with an Omanisation rate of 45 per cent.
Announcement of extension of bids for several mining projects in Oman
Oman's Ministry of Energy and Minerals has announced the extension of the auction period for several mining projects in the country. The move is aimed at attracting more local and international companies to invest in Oman's mineral sector and to promote economic growth in the country. The auction process was initially launched in March 28, 2023, with a deadline of May 28, 2023, for interested companies to submit their bids. However, due to the high level of interest shown by local and international investors, the Ministry of Energy and Minerals has decided to extend the deadline for submitting bids until July 30, 2023. The projects that are up for auction include the exploration and mining of minerals in various parts of the country. The concession areas in Dhofar Governorate are believed to be rich in gypsum, limestone, dolomite, phosphates and clay. It covers Concession 71 — a 5,638 square kilometres (sq km) mining area, Concession 73 (1,551 sq km) and Concession 77 (1,355 sq km). In Al Sharqiyah North Governorate, copper, gold, silver, chrome and basalt are the raw materials expected in Concession 22-B (1,144 sq km), Concession 22-D (790 sq km) and Concession 22-E (810 sq km). The same raw materials are expected in Concession 11-A (1,438 sq km) located in Al Buraimi Governorate.
The Ministry of Energy and Minerals has stated that the projects offer significant opportunities for investors to participate in Oman's growing mining sector and contribute to the country's economic development. The mining sector in Oman has a proven history of producing top-notch mineral resources. In fact, the country holds the distinction of being the first GCC producer and exporter of ferrochrome, with production reaching 210,000 metric tonnes in 2020. This has contributed significantly to Oman's GDP, accounting for 1.4% of the country's total output, a marked improvement from 0.6% in 2019. Oman has also exported minerals and mineral products worth over $1.5 billion, and the government aims to increase this figure to 10% by 2040. In 2017, Oman became the world's top gypsum exporter, surpassing Thailand. The country supplied major global markets with 7.4 million tonnes of gypsum. However, in 2020-2021, the situation changed significantly, with Oman now accounting for 44.4% of the world's gypsum supply, which equates to roughly 17.5 million tonnes annually. The Ministry of Energy and Minerals is committed to promoting the mining sector in Oman and creating a conducive environment for investors. The government has implemented several measures to support the development of the mining sector, including the establishment of a dedicated mining authority and the introduction of new mining laws and regulations.
Implementation and repairing of damaged roads in Oman
The Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (Madayn) continues its efforts to repair the roads in Al Wadi Al Kabir Industrial City, with a tender awarded to a local company that has commenced the implementation and repairs on the damaged roads. The work is carried out during the evening hours to minimise disruption to traffic during the day, and the project is expected to be completed by the end of June. Due to the significance of ensuring utmost security, safety and environmental health standards and the necessity of re-planning the industrial city and enhancing the work environment, the decision came regarding transferring the affiliation of Al Wadi Al Kabir Industrial City to Madayn. Since Madayn took over the management of Al Wadi Al Kabir Industrial City, specifically the industrial blocks: (142, 144, 146, 154, 158), a tender was awarded for the consultancy services project for the rehabilitation and design of Al Wadi Al Kabir Industrial City. The project has commenced with design work and preliminary studies, with a completion rate of 50 per cent achieved so far. Madayn has also prepared a three-year implementation plan for Al Wadi Al Kabir Industrial City project and has identified the proposed industrial activities to address their respective situations.
Tender announced for construction of rainwater canals in Oman
Muscat Municipality announced that it has offered a tender for the construction of Phase II of the Rainwater Drainage Canal Project in the Mahaj area of Amerat following completion of its first phase. The area is prone to flash floods due to sudden overflowing of wadis, as it lacks a surface water drainage system. The project includes construction of a 18m wide and 1,100m long open canal, a box culvert - 3.5m wide, 2.5m high and 880m long - with three openings, and reconstruction of affected roads. These works will solve the problem of water accumulation in residential areas and enhance commercial movement in the area.
Contract award is expected for sewage treatment plant in Oman
Oman Water and Wastewater Services Company (NAMA) is expected to award the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for its Sohar Sewage Treatment Plant Upgradation project in Sohar, by the third quarter of 2023. The tender for the EPC contract was issued on 25 April 2023 and the bid submission is scheduled on 5 June 2023. The contract is expected to be awarded in August 2023. The scope of the project involves design, construction, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of sewage treatment plant to increase the existing capacity from 10,000 cubic metres/day (m3/day) to 20,000 m3/day, using the Integrated Fixed Film Activated Sludge technology.
Agreement signed for developing integrated industrial complex in Oman
Brazilian mining giant Vale has signed a land reservation agreement with the Port of Duqm Company and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Marafiq to develop an Integrated Industrial Complex (Mega Hub) to produce low-carbon products for the steelmaking industry in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD). The signing ceremony took place at the Invest Oman Hall. The land reservation agreement between Vale and the Port of Duqm also commissions joint studies to build a Mega Hub in Oman. Additionally, an MoU was signed by Marafiq, a leading utilities service provider in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm. The MoU aims to provide the project with access to all the utilities and services required for its operations, while promoting the use of clean energy and green hydrogen at the Port of Duqm. The stakeholders have proposed the use of clean energy and green hydrogen in the upcoming Mega Hub. The planned industrial complex will cover an estimated total area of 6.78 sqkm and produce hot briquetted iron (HBI) and other steel products.
The Mega Hub initiative contributes to Vale's commitment to reduce 15 per cent of net Scope 3 emissions by 2035. Additionally, Vale seeks to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 33 per cent by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2050, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, leading the evolution towards sustainable mining. The development of Vale's Mega Hub Project is expected to produce HBI and steel products to supply both the local and export markets while significantly reducing CO2 emissions. The production of HBI using natural gas emits around 60 per cent less CO2 when compared to more traditional methods. In the future, the replacement of natural gas with hydrogen and the usage of renewable energy could eliminate CO2 emissions. Vale is expected to build and operate iron-ore concentration and briquetting plants within the hubs, securing the supply of high-grade agglomerated products. Local parties are expected to promote the construction of the required logistics infrastructure. Investors and/or clients are expected to construct and operate the direct reduction plants and be off-takers of HBI for either the export or domestic markets. These Mega Hubs shall supply different markets across the globe, supporting the de-carbonisation of the steelmaking industry.
OMR70 million usufructs contract signed in Oman
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning signed 10 usufructs (land lease) contracts with an investment value exceeding OMR70 million. The contracts cover commercial, industrial, health and agricultural sectors in the governorates of Muscat, Al Dhahirah and South Al Batinah. The total area of the projects is 1.3 million square metres (sqm). Most of the contracts were awarded for projects in the Governorate of Muscat.
- These include a land usufruct contract for the construction of a specialized hospital on an area of 40,000 sqm in the Wilayat of A'Seeb at an investment cost of OMR65 million.
- A second usufruct contract in the same Wilayat provides for the setting up of a cement factory on an area of 3,000 sqm for OMR1.2 million.
- In the Wilayat of Ibri in Al Dhahirah Governorate, a usufruct contract was signed for an agricultural project.
- In the Governorate of South Al Batinah, a usufruct contract was signed for the establishment of an industrial project for OMR1.2 million.
The contracts were signed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning for Housing, and representatives of companies and establishments investing in the respective projects.
Invitation of bids for two marble-rich sites in Oman
Oman's Ministry of Energy and Minerals has invited interested investors and developers to bid for exclusive mining rights to two marble-rich sites located at Ibri in Al Dhahira Governorate. The two sites, covering a total area of 703,000 sq metres, represent promising investment opportunities for businesses operating within Oman's mineral sector. The mining sites selected for inclusion in this prestigious auction have been carefully chosen based on their exceptional geological composition and strategic location. Interested parties are invited to register for this momentous event, which provides a unique chance to participate and capitalize on this extraordinary occasion. The registration period will remain open until August 20, 2023, interested parties can send their queries via email at [email protected].
Detailed insights can also be obtained by visiting the official website at www.mem.gov.om. It is the latest in a series of public auctions unveiled by the Ministry as part of its bid to open up Oman's promising mining sector to private investment and development. Just last month, the Ministry offered three sites at Ayoun in Dhofar Governorate for aggregate mining. The sites hold abundant reserves of construction materials that will contribute to the growth of the construction industry in Oman. Further, commercialization of these sites will also drive economic activities in Dhofar Governorate. Earlier, the Ministry launched a public auction of 7 mining concession areas, covering a total area of 12,726 square kilometers and distributed in the governorates of Dhofar, North Al Sharqiyah and Al Buraimi. The new blocks are home to industrial minerals such as gypsum, limestone, phosphate, dolomite and clay, as well as metallic minerals including gold, silver, copper, chromite and basalt.
Rfqs will issue soon for three new IPP’s in Oman
Three new wind-based Independent Power Projects (IPPs) will be initiated for procurement this year as part of the Omani government's drive to promote the use of renewables for the nation's energy requirements. According to Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP), the sole national buyer of electricity and water output, a Request for Qualifications (RfQ) as well as a Request for Proposals (RfP) will be issued this year for wind-based IPPs planned at Duqm (Al Wusta Governorate), Jalaan Bani Bu Ali (South Al Sharqiyah Governorate) and Harweel (Dhofar Governorate). The three wind farms are among a portfolio of power and water related initiatives, identified by OPWP – part of Nama Group – as 'key priorities' for development in 2023. Included in the portfolio are commitments towards HSE and zero harm, renewable energy projects, water desalination schemes, and tariff-related studies. Wind Resource Assessment (WRA) studies have picked up pace following the launch of Oman's first wind farm – a 50 MW 13-turbine facility – at Harweel about three years ago. The studies have helped identify a number of optimal locations for the establishment of wind powered IPPs.
At Jalaan Bani Ali, authorities are weighing a 100 MW capacity wind IPP, with procurement processes running almost concurrently for similar wind farms in Duqm (200 MW) and Harweel (100 MW). Furthermore, in what is anticipated to be one of the most consequential years for Oman's renewable energy push, OPWP is also targeting the issuance of an RfQ and RfP for a new 500 MW solar IPP at Ibri. Dubbed Ibri III Solar IPP, the project is planned for development alongside the existing Ibri II Solar IPP. Separately, an RfQ and RfP are expected to go out as part of the procurement of Oman's first-ever Waste-to-Energy project. OPWP plans to procure the roughly 150 MW-capacity project in coordination with Oman Environmental Services Holding Company (be'ah). Also during 2023, OPWP plans to initiate a study into the feasibility of establishing a Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant in the country. A separate study will also explore options for energy storage and an optimized energy mix.
Development underway for fisheries port in Oman
The Duqm Industrial Fisheries Port has kick-started temporary operations, while actively developing a plan for the future. Fisheries Development Oman (FDO) is the lead partner in the consortium overseeing the operation of the facility in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Duqm. The full project will include a research and design centre, a training centre, a government (services) building, and a fish market. The fish market will include an auction system, in addition to a fishery village that will serve artisan fishermen. The Duqm multipurpose port was built by the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD), and is going to be operated by a consortium of companies including Fisheries Development Company (FDO), Oman Food Investment Company and the French port of Lorient. The seafood canning plant by FDO's subsidiary, International Seafood Company, is proceeding as planned. The plant, which has a capacity of 100 million cans per year, is expected to operate within the first quarter of 2024. It is targeted to award the full development by early next year & the project will be completed within 18 to 24 months from the award. The fisheries port project will also focus on providing local SMEs with opportunities within the fishery industry. The company signed six agreements with local SMEs to provide port services worth over RO 8 million.
MoU signed to transport iron ore products in Oman
Oman and Etihad Rail Company, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with mining giant Vale. The MoU aims to explore the use of rail network to transport iron ore and its derivatives between Oman and the UAE, connecting Vale's industrial complex in Sohar Port and Freezone to its planned mega-industrial complex in the UAE. The agreement underscores the logistical importance of the rail project to major international players in various sectors, as they stand to benefit significantly from the competitive advantages and economic incentives of the project. Under the MoU, both parties will work together to develop integrated logistics solutions that connect Vale's industrial complex in Sohar Port and Freezone and transport the company's iron ore products and derivatives between the company's Sohar hub and various factories and distribution centers. Commenting on the MoU, the agreement supports Vale's plans to develop industrial complexes in the UAE and Oman to produce low-carbon products for the steelmaking industry. Vale's partnership with Oman and Etihad Rail Company reinforces the regional logistics progress, which enables various economic and trade activities, and provides several benefits, including creating new job opportunities and providing high-quality transport solutions.
Agreement signed for new bunkering station in Oman
Marine fuel trading firm O Bunkering has signed an agreement with Marsa Al Duqm Investments Company - a subsidiary of Fisheries Development Oman - to build and operate a bunkering station for marine vessels in the Duqm Fisheries Port. O Bunkering will supply all ships and fishing boats with bunker fuel at the fishing port berth in Duqm. The project is expected to significantly boost the port's capabilities and enhance Oman's position as a key player in the regional marine industry. The new bunker supply station will be equipped with the latest technology and infrastructure, including advanced metering and monitoring systems to ensure the safe and efficient supply of marine fuels and other related products. It will be staffed by a team of highly trained professionals, who will be responsible for ensuring that all operations are carried out in strict accordance with international safety and environmental standards. The agreement represents a significant success and a big step for the company. O Bunkering will undertake the design and construction of the bunker station in Duqm Fishing Port in accordance with international standards, ensuring the highest levels of safety and reliability for their customers. The company aims to provide exceptional services in the field of supplying ships with bunker fuel to the global shipping industry, which contributes to the promotion of both local and international fishing industries. The development of the bunker supply station is part of Oman's wider plans to develop its ports and logistics infrastructure, in order to support economic growth and diversification. Duqm is a key part of this strategy, and the development of the bunker supply station is expected to help attract more business to the port. The project is an essential step for the fisheries industry in the Sultanate of Oman. This project will contribute to achieving Oman Vision 2040 and emphasises the diversification of the sources of the Omani economy. The Duqm Fishing Port is one of its main pillars, in addition to promoting social and economic development.
Hospital constructions under various stages of development in Oman
The Ministry of Health (MoH) is getting 11 hospitals constructed in various governorates as part of its efforts to develop the health sector in the sultanate. A number of them will be opened this year. The ministry is overseeing development of a number of hospitals in various governorates to strengthen the healthcare system in the country. The projects include the new Suwaiq Hospital in North Batinah governorate, having a capacity of 307 beds. Seventy per cent of the work is complete. It is expected to be ready by 2024. 98 per cent of the structural works for the Sultan Qaboos Hospital in Salalah, Dhofar, has been completed and its construction is expected to end by 2025. The Khasab Hospital is coming up in Musandam with a capacity of 164 beds. The construction of this hospital will be complete by 2024. Over 63 per cent of the work for the project has been completed. Eighty per cent works for the upgradation of the Madha Health Centre in Musandam to a hospital is over. The ministry expects the hospital to be ready for operation in 2023. Another new hospital - Al Mazyouna Hospital – is coming up in Dhofar, and this will be ready by 2024. Designs for three more hospitals viz., Samail Hospital in Dakhiliyah, Al-Namaa Hospital in North Sharqiyah and Al Falah Hospital in South Sharqiya have been finalised. They are currently in the stage of tendering. The Mahout Hospital in Al Wusta is proceeding with the preparatory work. This hospital is expected to come up in 2025. Additionally, the construction of a dialysis unit has been completed in the wilayat of Bahla in Dakhiliyah. Construction works are also underway for a number of dialysis units in Sur in South Sharqiyah and Al Khabourah in North Batinah, while the ministry is preparing to call for tenders for a dialysis unit in Barka in South Batinah.
40 new tourism projects to be developed in Oman
Oman has ambitious plans to enhance its adventure tourism industry by developing 40 new projects by the year 2025. To attract more visitors to the country, the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism is executing a plan that includes more than 40 projects aimed at boosting adventure tourism beyond 2025. The projects include developing a cable car in the Botanical Garden and installing ziplines in Wadi Darbat in Dhofar for the khareef season. Recently, a zipline in Musandam was inaugurated, and a suspension bridge is being built in Wadi Shab in South Sharqiyah. To further promote adventure tourism, the ministry is planning to create mountain trails in Hawar village in Wadi Bani Khalid and Wadi al Arbaeen, both known for their perpetual springs. These trails will allow tourists and adventure enthusiasts to explore the beauty of mountainous regions and wadis. Additionally, the ministry is working on paving a road to Al Sogara, a mountainside village in Jabal Akhdar that has a heritage inn and is a popular tourist destination. The ministry is also exploring the possibility of setting up service facilities on the mountain tracks in Wadi Bani Awf, including changing rooms, camping sites, a cafe, and a restaurant. Local SMEs will have the opportunity to operate these facilities, which will have a positive impact on the community. As part of its plan to promote adventure tourism, the ministry aims to pave a total of 15 mountain trails, with a majority located in the Hajar Mountains, including Jabal Shams, Jabal Akhdar, and Wadi Bani Awf. Additionally, 37 new mountain trails suitable for adventure activities have been discovered by youth teams and are now authorised for use. Presently, there are 53 approved mountain trails in Oman. Twenty tourism companies have applied for licenses to organise adventure activities. The ministry is working to finalise safety and risk management protocols, carry out adventure activities across various sites and projects, and collaborate with the Ministry of Defence to train tour guides.
Multiple projects under implementation in Oman
A number of projects under implementation were inspected in the Wilayat of Mahdha, on May 1, 2023. Among the projects inspected by the governor were road projects, a walking track and the site of a dam the implementation of which will commence shortly. The governor of Al Buraimi was briefed on the model quarter project that was completed in the Kohl area. The developments at the road and ferry maintenance project were reviewed, a project that is expected to be implemented soon, the proposed site for the implementation of the model park, the proposed site for the implementation of the sanitary drainage project in the Al Khatwa area, and the proposed sites for implementing the park and children's playground projects and the ferry maintenance station. The areas of Humaydha and Al Ghadeer were also visited.
Eight guesthouses development under progress in Oman
To improve lodging facilities in the tourism sector in South Batinah, the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism is overseeing development of eight guesthouses in the governorate. The ministry is encouraging citizens to invest in heritage and green guesthouses as part of its efforts to add value to the tourism sector in the sultanate. The eight guesthouses constitute 21.6 per cent of the total accommodation available to tourists being implemented in the governorate. Of the eight, four are in the wilayat of Barka, three in Nakhal and one in Rustaq. Currently there are 21 guesthouses in the governorate. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning (MHUP) has also allocated three sites for establishment of waterfront projects in the governorate as part of its efforts to stimulate the economy and attract investments. The ministry has marked a number of investment sites to support development projects in the governorate. These include the construction of three waterfront projects, of which two – spread over 10,990sqm and 222,441sqm - are in the wilayat of Barka, while the third will be in Mussanah on an area of 180,425sqm.
Plans underway for building park in Oman
Musandam governorate is currently seeing implementation of several development projects. The civic body is working on developing projects that serve the economic, tourism and social sectors of the governorate. Chief among these is an extensive development plan for Al Halla Park in the wilayat of Khasab. Spread on an area of 16,673sqm, the park will include entertainment facilities, such as a children's play area, a gym and green spaces, besides toilets and a prayer hall for men and women. The project aims to stimulate domestic tourism, and create recreational outlets for families and job opportunities for the youth. Some of the other development projects underway include a Kumzar village, construction of a floating pier in Khor Najd, the Khorsham mountain pass project, and a waterfront project in the wilayat of Dibba.
Oman seeks project management consultants for 1GW solar plant
The Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) announced it has sought requests for proposals (RFPs) from interested bidders to provide project management and supervisory consultancy services for its key solar PV projects - Manah I and Manah II. The key Manah independent power projects (IPP), to be set up on a 15 million sq m area within the Governorate of A’Dakhiliyah, will jointly produce a total of 1,000MW solar power. It is expected that over two million solar panels will be installed in these two stations, which will be the largest solar panel project for the sultanate. OPWP, a member of Nama Group, is responsible for procuring new capacity for power and water in the sultanate in accordance with the provisions of the law for the Regulation and Privatisation of the electricity and related water sector promulgated by Royal Decree 78/2004. In its tender notification, OPWP said the winning consultant will provide PMC and supervisory consultancy services for the key renewable project during its construction, commissioning and testing phase. According to OPWP, work on these two stations will kick off in Q3 this year and the entire project is due for commercial operations by mid-2025. The deadlline for submitting the tenders has been set for June 11, 2023.
RO32mn usufruct agreements signed in Oman
To support food security, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning, signed a total of six usufruct agreements valued at around RO32mn, with a total area exceeding 3mn sqm. The agreements cover the production, cultivation and marketing of honey, vegetables, fruits and various crops. Those projects will be set up in the governorates of Dakhliyah, Buraimi, North and South Batinah. The agreements includes number of projects such as the construction of a bee honey museum over an area of 3 acres worth more than RO1mn in the wilayat of Barka, bananas production and marketing project over an area of more than 66 acres, an organic farming project for the production of pomegranates on an area of 30 acres in Jabal Akhdar, fig cultivation and production project in Sohar, soil booster project and the implant of 50,000 palm trees project. The ministry seeks to achieve self-sufficiency in these projects, after achieving 100 per cent in the production of some crops such as dates.
EOI invited for 10-15MW Solar PV Plant in Oman
Oman Water and Wastewater Services Company (Nama Water Services) is inviting interested bidders to submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) to develop a circa 10-15 MWp (PV Power Plant), to be located at Muscat Governorate as per Authority for Public Services Regulations (Under Lease Agreement Framework). An area of over 65500 square meters has been earmarked within but not limited (Al Ansab STP, A'Seeb STP, Al Ghubrah water tanks & Ghala water tanks) at the first stage. The proposed project, sized at between 10-15 MWp of capacity, aims to provide the operation assets of OWWSC with a cheaper and green source of electricity, while also allowing in generating Renewable Energy (green/clean) scheme as part of environmental sustainability towards Oman vision 2040 and to contribute to reducing carbon emission roadmap to achieve Net Zero target by 2050. This is in order to ensure effective, balanced and resilient ecosystems to protect the environment and ensure sustainability of natural resources to support the national economy. Moreover, this will support reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as per decarbonization strategy roadmap.