Karwa Motors celebrated the formal launch of its bus assembly plant at the Duqm Special Economic Zone (SEZ) on Thursday, June 23, 2022. A partnership of Oman Investment Authority (30 per cent) and Qatar’s Mowasalat (70 per cent) has invested a total of around RO 71 million in the venture.
The opening ceremony was held under the auspices of Sultan bin Salim al Habsi, Minister of Finance, in the presence of Ali bin Ahmed al Kuwari, Minister of Finance of Qatar, and a number of officials from both sides.
Al Habsi said the launch of Karwa Motors was a qualitative addition to the SEZ, which will open up opportunities for ancillary investments centring around automotive components and spares in the SEZ.
Dr Saad bin Ahmed al Muhannadi, Chairman of Karwa Motors, said the project is a reflection of the strength of political, economic and commercial ties between the Sultanate of Oman and Qatar.
Karwa Motors will also support a number of development goals, most notably: Transferring the technology of bus industry to Oman and thereby enabling the latter’s growth into a manufacturing centre; enhancing the local value added; localising the industry to contribute to development and economic diversification; stimulating the growth of medium and small projects to support the factory's operations in Duqm; and creating more than 300 direct and indirect jobs for nationals in the bus assembly industry.
Dr Ibrahim bin Ali al Balushi, CEO of Karwa Motors, said the plant incorporates modern technology in its assembly lines, quality inspection facilities and tests that ensure high quality products.
He added that a 568,000-square-metre factory site is equipped to assembly three different types of buses: city-based buses, school buses and intercity buses, ranging in size from 8 to 12 metres, with seats ranging from 30 to 55 seats.
The factory's production capacity is 700 buses per year, equivalent to the production of 3 to 4 buses per day, and production capacity could be increased to 6 buses per day by increasing the number of working hours and shifts. The plant can accommodate additional production lines in the future to produce different automotive products.
Karwa Motors has recently begun exporting the first batch of buses to Qatar for use in the 2022 World Cup, he added (With inputs from ONA)