Conrad Prabhu –
MUSCAT, MARCH 22 –
The Special Economic Zone Authority at Duqm (SEZAD) has awarded contracts totalling RO 705 million to date — a figure that is set to soar on the back of a plethora of new infrastructure and utility contracts due to be tendered out over the coming 12-plus months.
According to a senior official of SEZAD, construction contracts accounted for a hefty RO 625 million of the total, while consultancy firms netted in excess of RO 30 million in contracts. Projects awarded last month alone totalled around 49 million in value, underscoring the pace at which the Sultanate’s most ambitious SEZ enterprise is being developed, said Eng Hussain al Zadjali, Head of Building Projects at SEZAD.
Speaking to journalists during a media tour of the sprawling zone on Oman’s Al Wusta coast, Al Zadjaii listed a number of prestigious contracts that are currently under tender and due for award. They include contracts for a service corridor to the $6 billion Duqm Refinery, expansion of the water distribution network, construction of new roads and bridges, establishment of drainage systems at Duqm Port, and various consultancy services for various initiatives.
Several major developments are also ongoing at a cost of several hundreds of millions of dollars, he said. Notable are contracts for the construction of the Jurf and Saay channels designed to secure the SEZ against potential flooding. The partnership of Serka Taaghhut and Ajab is executing this package of infrastructure works. Separately, Premier International Projects is undertaking the construction of flood protection dams upstream of these channels, aimed at staving off destructive flood events in the future. Both contracts are due for completion in the second half of 2019.
Just south of the SEZ, Galfar Engineering & Contracting is constructing the nation’s largest fishery harbour, which will anchor an Industrial Fisheries Hub planned as part of the SEZ. The contract, comprising marine infrastructure and road networks linking the facility to the SEZ, is due for completion in Q2 2019.
At the Port of Duqm, the joint venture of Serka Taaghhut and MSF is implementing the IP2 package of works, which includes the construction of roads, terminal infrastructure and buildings at the Commercial Quay and Operational Zone areas of the port. This key contract is targeted for delivery by around mid-2019.
Also at the port, the Netherlands-based Royal Boskalis Westminster is undertaking the dredging and the marine infrastructure of Phase 1 of the Bulk Liquid Berth which will handle ships loading and unloading liquid cargoes linked to, among others, the Duqm Refinery and future petrochemicals scheme.
Further, local contractor Modern Delta International is undertaking the design and construction of access facilities to the site of a proposed automobile assembly plant jointly promoted by Karwa Motors of Qatar and Oman Investment Fund (OIF).
As for the Duqm Airport Passenger Terminal, currently under construction along with cargo terminal and Air Traffic Control tower, the target is to bring the completion facility into operation during the first half of 2018, Al Zadjali added.
Conrad Prabhu –