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Consortium to develop mega fisheries hub in Duqm

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MUSCAT: Marsa Al Duqm Investments Company, a multinational consortium, has signed a usufruct agreement with the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ), to develop the infrastructure and commercial facilities of a mega-scale fishing port in Duqm SEZ.

The agreement was signed by Eng Ahmed bin Hassan al Deeb, OPAZ Deputy Chairman, and Eng Nabil bin Salim al Bimani, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Marsa Al Duqm Investments. Al Bimani is also the Group CEO of Fisheries Development Oman SAOC (FDO).

Under the agreement, Marsa Al Duqm Investments will develop infrastructure and commercial facilities covering a 300,000-square-metre area earmarked for investors in all kinds of fisheries related ventures and activities. The goal is to position the fisheries port at Duqm as a destination for local and international investments in the fisheries sector.

Marsa Al Duqm Investments is made up of a number of subsidiaries and affiliates of Oman Investment Authority (OIA), including Fisheries Development Oman (FDO), Asyad Ports, Al Wusta Fish Industries Company, and the Oman Food Investment Holding Company (Nitaj). The French port of Lorient, one of the largest fisheries ports in Europe, is also a member of the consortium.

Commenting on the agreement signing, OPAZ Deputy Chairman said: "The signing of this agreement comes within the Authority's strategy to enable local and international companies to develop fish industries sector and related activities and to develop service and commercial facilities, as this sector is considered one of the promising sectors in the Sultanate of Oman in general and in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD) in particular, benefiting from the fish stocks available in the zone.”

In addition to supporting its infrastructure development, the fisheries hub will also stimulate the growth of the re-export sector, drive air cargo traffic at Duqm Airport and support value-add opportunities in the SEZ.

The port consists of several facilities such as the main and secondary breakwaters and a 10-metre deep basin to serve commercial fishing ships and it is located nearby a complex for fish industries. Within the hub, sites have been allocated for the maintenance of commercial fishing ships, artisanal fishing ships, fishing factories, fish sale facilities, and a training centre for fishermen. A network of paved roads has been implemented to serve fish transportation vehicles, he said.

Nabil al Bimani of Marsa Al Duqm Investments added: "We are pleased today to sign this agreement in cooperation with our partners to manage, develop and operate the largest fishing port in the Sultanate, as the port is centre of the activities supporting the fishing sector and the link between all activities related to fishing. It also constitutes a suitable opportunity for attracting investment in the development of support sectors."

Al Bimani stated, "The port will contribute to supporting and developing research and innovation, and localising the value-added chain of fish products. The port also serves the fish industries area specialised in fish processing and canning. FDO seeks to transform the port into a sustainable smart city in global supply chains.“

French Ambassador Véronique Aulagnon commented: “We are proud of this cooperation and we see that the Sultanate of Oman has many potentials. We want to enable Oman to enter the European market and improve local content.

"On the side of clean energy and hydrogen, many French companies attended the Green Hydrogen Summit. We are interested in this aspect, and we hope to see cooperation in this important field very soon.”

When fully operational, the Duqm Fisheries Port will be the largest commercial fishing hub in Oman. Covering an area of approximately 7.5 square kilometres, the port will be able to receive the largest international commercial fishing vessels. It will also have floating berths and a private berth for the ROP Coast Guard.

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