Investor comfort: A statement issued by the Ministry of Finance late last week has sought to reassure local and international investors that an ambitious programme of PPP-based initiatives is on track for procurement and implementation
The Omani government has affirmed its commitment to embracing the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model to deliver infrastructure projects and services in partnership with the private sector.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Finance late last week has sought to reassure local and international investors that an ambitious programme of PPP based initiatives is on track for procurement and implementation, notwithstanding the government’s recent decision to do away with, among other agencies, the Public Authority for Privatisation and Partnership (PPP).
The latter, hitherto the apex agency with oversight of Oman’s landmark PPP and privatisation programmes, has been absorbed into the Ministry of Finance — part of a wider rejig of government ministries and departments aimed at, among other goals, cutting government expenditure and streamlining the work of public sector bodies.
“In accordance with Royal Decree 110/2020 abolishing the Public Authority for Privatisation and Partnership (PAPP), the Ministry of Finance would like to notify all its international and local partners that it is continuing to work on PAPP projects and agreements...” it said.
The Royal Decree, it noted, transfers to the Ministry of Finance all specialisations, allocations, assets, rights and obligations of the PAPP, as well as the Authority’s employees. It also affirmed that the Tawazun Oman (Offset) Programme, as well as the Privatisation and PPP laws, continue to be in force in accordance with the laws and regulations already in place.
“The Tawazun Oman (Offset) Programme, and the privatisation and PPP projects will continue to be implemented as per agreements, terms and conditions already agreed upon. The projects team at the (erstwhile) PAPP will continue to manage the projects,” the ministry added.
Earlier this year, the Sultanate outlined an array of opportunities for private sector investment in as many as nine key sectors under a newly unveiled PPP regulatory framework. It announced an initial pipeline of 49 projects distributed across Healthcare, Education, Research and Development, Environment, Transport, Ports, Renewable Energy, Office Accommodation and Information Communication and Technology.
First to be floated for procurement last December was a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) on behalf of the wholly government-owned wastewater utility Haya Water. Among the biggest PPP-based procurements is a package of 40-odd schools and related institutions for the Ministry of Education.
In the healthcare sector, the Ministry of Health is looking to establish a string of dialysis service centres around the country, along with a number of small hospitals and health centres, a drug rehab centre in Suhar and a Central Laboratory.
Private investment is also being sought in the development of a dual carriageway for trucks from Salalah to Thamrait, a number of fisheries ports, a mineral port at Manji in Dhofar Governorate, an integrated hazardous waste management facility in Suhar, slaughterhouses, and office blocks for government ministries.