MUSCAT, JAN 5 - Nine mega ventures currently in various stages of implementation with investments totalling in excess of $25 billion have been affirmed by the Omani government as imperative to sustaining the Sultanate’s long-term socioeconomic development. The portfolio of projects and developments, listed in the 2020 State Budget unveiled last week, include a number of big-ticket petrochemical ventures, a lavish mixed-used waterfront development, a large-scale logistics city, a new high-end neighbourhood for Muscat, investments in food security projects, and an upcoming copper mining scheme. Not included in the list are a similar number of equally substantive schemes currently under development at the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Duqm.
A brief snapshot of the nine “strategic projects” appears here below:
Salalah Ammonia Project:
Construction work began in 2017 on a 1,000 metric tonnes per day (MTPD) capacity ammonia plant in Salalah Free Zone estimated to cost $750 million. The new plant will be integrated with 1 million tonnes per year (tpy) capacity methanol plant of Salalah Methanol Company (SMC) at the free zone. Besides being used as an ingredient in the production of fertilizers, ammonia is also an important intermediate chemical in the manufacture of synthetic resins (urea based), synthetic fibres (acrylics and nylons, and polyurethanes, among other applications.
Ras Markaz Crude Oil Storage Terminal
Oman Tank Terminal Company LLC (OTTCO), a subsidiary of OQ (formerly Oman Oil and Orpic Group), is setting up a major crude oil Storage Terminal at Ras Markaz near Duqm. Total investment in Phase 1 of the storage facility, which at full build will rank among the largest of its kind in the world, is pegged at $1.76 billion. At the heart of the Ras Markaz Crude Oil Terminal project is a vision to position the Sultanate as an international hub for storage of crudes and petroleum derivatives, leveraging Oman’s strategic geographical location on the Indian Ocean. The project also creates an additional port for crude exports.
Salalah LPG Project
Salalah LPG SFZ Co LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oman Gas Company (OGC), is investing around $830 million in a 300,000 tonnes per annum of LPG plant in Salalah Free Zone. It includes a high-tech extraction plant with a nameplate capacity to process 9 million standard cubic metres of gas per day.
Mina Sultan Qaboos Waterfront
UAE based real estate developer Damac has been selected by the Government of Oman to develop Mina Al Sultan Qaboos into a world-class, waterfront mixed-use destination through a joint venture with Omran, the government’s investment, growth and development arm.
‘Mina Al Sultan Qaboos Waterfront’ is being redeveloped into a $ 2 billion integrated tourist port and lifestyle destination that includes hotels, residences, as well as a dining, retail and leisure offering.
Liwa Plastics Industries Complex
The Liwa Plastics Industries Complex (LPIC), a signature investment of OQ (formerly Oman Oil & Orpic Group), is a transformational project that will improve the Group’s product mix and business model, increase its profit and support the development of a downstream plastics industry in Oman. Located at Sohar Port, the $6.4 billion project will be formally launched this year.
Khazaen Economic City
Oman’s first integrated logistics city is coming up on a 52 sq km site near Barka, just off the Batinah Expressway. It will serve as Oman’s northern logistics hub, connecting a number of key development projects across the Sultanate via its extensive dry port facilities. Khazaen will also host dedicated areas for commercial, industrial, and residential use, whilst also providing the residents of the wider region with new health, education and leisure facilities.
Madinat Al Irfan Project
Conceived as a new downtown for the capital region, Madinat Al Irfan will come up in multiple phases on prime real estate in Muscat. A joint venture between Omran and Dubai’s Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) will pave the way for investments estimated at $13 billion in commercial, residential, education, healthcare, entertainment, and hospitality developments.
Oman Food Investment Holding projects
Oman Food Investment Holding Company (OFIC), the wholly government-owned food sector investment flagship, is spearheading the development of projects in dairy, poultry, livestock farming, red meat production, agro production and processing, dates and date processing, and other foodstuff processing schemes. Investments are estimated to total $1 billion and will go a long way in securing Oman’s food requirements. Mazoon Dairy, the flagship venture of OFIC, was launched late last year.
Copper Mining in Al Mudhaibi
Large-scale copper mining is set to take off in the Sultanate with the joint venture Al Hadeetha Resources set to develop a major copper deposit at Washihi-Mazzaza in Al Mudhaibi Wilayat. It targets the commercialisation of an estimated 16 million tonnes of copper ore — billed as the largest single copper resource in the Sultanate to date. The project includes plans for a 1 million tonnes per annum copper concentration plant with an initial 10-year mine life.