Mineral-based projects worth RO 122m set to come up in Duqm SEZ

Majority state-owned Duqm Quarries, which was established three years ago to jumpstart the growth of mining activities in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Duqm, has unveiled a portfolio of five projects for investment  – ventures that will serve to showcase the zone’s promising mining and mineral-based investment potential.

Total investment in the five projects, all of which seek to add value to locally exploited mineral resources, is around RO 122 million, according to the company’s CEO, Eng Ali bin Abdullah al Zadjali.

In an interview to Duqm Economist, the quarterly newsletter of the SEZ Authority of Duqm (SEZAD), Al Zadjali said all five projects – focusing on the manufacture and production of soda ash, cement clinker, quick lime, float glass, and ground calcium carbonate – have been found to be commercially feasible, thus paving the way for their implementation.

Further, with a view to attracting local and international investment in these projects, Duqm Quarries will shortly present details of its feasibility and technical studies covering all five ventures via the portals of SEZAD and the Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development (Ithraa), he noted.

The biggest of these projects by value is a 900-tons/day soda ash production facility with an investment of around RO 56 million.  Also known as sodium bicarbonate, soda ash is a key raw material in the manufacture of a wide array of industrial chemicals and goods, including detergents and glass. Also envisioned is a 150-tons/day capacity ground calcium carbonate plant with an investment of RO 2.8 million.

Equally notable is a float glass manufacturing project with an investment of around RO 50 million. Plant capacity is projected at 600 tons per day, effectively making it the largest facility of its kind in the Sultanate when it comes into operation.

Making up the rest of Duqm Quarries’ portfolio is a 1,500 tons/day capacity clinker facility (costing RO 8 million) and 600 tons/day capacity quick lime production plant with an investment of around RO 5.5 million.

All five projects are planned for implementation within an integrated complex, allowing for synergies to be created and exploited in the production of a range of cost-competitive commodities for the construction, manufacturing, industrial, oilfield and petrochemical sectors.

Set up in 2017 with a mandate to drive investment in the mining and mineral development sector, Duqm Quarries is 70 per cent owned by Tatweer (Oman Company for Development of the SEZ in Duqm), the wholly-owned investment and development arm of SEZAD.

Licensed by SEZAD to undertake quarrying and mining activities in the SEZ, the company has been a key provider of aggregate and other construction materials for all kinds of industrial, infrastructure and building projects coming up in the zone. It has also produced a mining map that pinpoints the availability of commercially valuable industrial minerals and other resources in the SEZ.