Private sector invited to develop four fishery ports

Conrad Prabhu –
Seeking to build on its success in attracting private investment in the development of its fishery harbours in Taqah (Dhofar Governorate) and Barka (South Al Batinah Governorate), Oman’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is now offering up four additional fishing ports for investment under the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model.
Fishery harbours in Liwa and Al Khabourah (North Al Batinah Governorate), Musannah (South Al Batinah Governorate) and Seeb (Muscat Governorate) are now available for development on a PPP basis. Investments in all four fishery ports are estimated in the order of RO 150 million, according to the ministry.
“As part of the government’s efforts to establish partnerships with the private sector in development projects, and in view of the strategic location of (these fishing ports), the ministry has allocated some areas (within these ports) for investment in various activities to capitalise on the port, generate lucrative returns and create job opportunities for Omanis,” it stated in an overview of the investment opportunities linked to each location.
All four harbours feature breakwaters, fixed jetties and other basic infrastructure expected of a fishing port. However, they lack support infrastructure and amenities that, according to the ministry, represent opportunities in themselves for investment by the private developer.
These opportunities include investments in, among other things, a full-fledged fish market, ice-making and refrigeration facilities, boat-building and repair workshops, fish processing and value adding plants, fish waste processing and disposal, various commercial activities, marina for leisure boats, watersports, and other tourism, hospitality, dining and entertainment facilities.
At Al Khabourah, the ministry has earmarked a 2,500 sq metre site for investments in a range of ancillary and value-adding facilities. The investment potential in onshore and offshore-based opportunities is estimated at between RO 60-70 million.
At Liwa, the ministry has invited private developers to take advantage of relatively modern harbour infrastructure that includes nearly 1.5 kilometres of breakwater arms, 100-metre-long fixed dock and a pair of floating berths. Ministry-owned lands at the site, admeasuring 45,000 sq metres in area, are being earmarked for investment of around RO 20-30 million.
At Seeb, already the site of a thriving fishery harbour, the ministry sees potential for investments that would leverage the waterfront location and appeal of the port.