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Contractors eye main construction package of $110m seafood cannery project in Duqm


A number of local and international firms are lining up to bid for a substantial contract to build a major seafood cannery plant at the new Duqm Fisheries Complex envisaged alongside the fisheries port currently under development at the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Duqm on Oman’s southeast coast.

International Sea Food Company SAOC (ISFC), a subsidiary of Oman Food Investment Holding Company (OFIC) — the government’s food sector investment and development arm — is overseeing the establishment of the fish processing plant with an investment of around $110 million.

OFIC is spearheading the development of the project in partnership with a number of local and regional investors, including the publicly listed Oman Fisheries Company (OFC).

When fully operational, the cannery plant will boast a processing inflow capacity of around 88,000 tons per annum of sardine and tuna, while churning out sizable quantities of fishmeal and fish oil as well.

“The establishment journey of (ISFC) into a domestic, regional and international player in the seafood industry will enable it to work towards its objective of diversifying its asset, product offering, and customer base, thus striving for a sustainable growth and values added-return to its shareholders,” said the company in prequalification tender documents distributed to interested contractors earlier this month.

“A detailed feasibility study was conducted looking at market opportunity, company positioning and project execution philosophy. The feasibility showed the viability of the project given the key project assumptions and market positioning,” it noted.

ISFC’s world-class cannery plant will come up on a plot of land that is part of a sprawling 7 sq km fisheries and food processing zone envisioned alongside the fisheries harbour at Duqm. It will be one of the first fish processing related investments to materialise at the cluster which, together with the fisheries port, will position Duqm as a major fisheries hub in the Middle East.

On Monday, a multinational consortium led by Fisheries Development Oman (FDO), the fisheries sector investment and development arm of Oman Investment Authority (OIA), signed an agreement with Duqm SEZ to develop and operate the fisheries port in Duqm.

Al Wusta Industrial Fisheries Company, a subsidiary of FDO, also inked a land usufruct deal to oversee the development of the adjoining fisheries cluster. Total investment by the consortium, which also includes Oman Fisheries, Port of Duqm and French fisheries port operator SEM Lorient-Keroman, is estimated at $130 million.

According to ISFC, engineering — procurement — construction (EPC) packages covering the construction of the seafood cannery plant are expected to be issued to prequalified contractors by around the end of Q1 2021.

At the heart of the cannery complex is a main steel structure, offering 40,000 sq metres of covered built-up area, that will house the cannery operations, as well as other facilities, such as cold storage, workers’ amenities, offices and labs.

Integrated with the main building will be separate units for the manufacture of empty cans, and production of fishmeal and fish oil, as well as facilities for desalination, sewage treatment, and so on.

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