Strategic venture: Diverse expertise of SEM Lorient Keroman will contribute in the delivery of a first-of-its-kind integrated fisheries port and industrial fisheries hub in the Sultanate
The operator of one of France’s busiest fisheries ports has been chosen by an Omani-led consortium to lend its formidable expertise in the development and operation of a mega fisheries hub at the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Duqm.
SEM Lorient-Keroman, which operates the Lorient-Keroman fishing port in the Brittany Region of France, oversees an integrated operation that goes beyond the mere handling of fishing vessels.
The estimated 275 companies operating within the port specialise in fisheries marketing, processing, exports, fish breeding, R&D, ship repair, marine services, logistics, and related services.
It is this wealth of expertise that the state-led consortium will be looking to harness by roping in SEM Lorient Keroman in the delivery of a first-of-its-kind integrated fisheries port and fisheries industrial hub at Duqm.
Heading the consortium is Fisheries Development Oman (FDO), the fisheries sector investment and development arm of Oman Investment Authority (OIA), with equity stakes also held by Oman Food Investment Holding Company (OFIC), Al Wusta Fisheries Company, Oman Fisheries Company, and Port of Duqm. The multinational alliance has committed to investing $130 million in the development of the multipurpose fisheries port at Duqm.
In tapping SEM Lorient-Keroman, the consortium will be looked to replicate the French port’s considerable success in Duqm as well. The multipurpose fisheries port on Oman’s southeast coast is expected to be biggest of its kind in the Sultanate, anchoring a fisheries industrial hub that will attract investments across the fisheries value chain, as well as in related maritime activities.
As many as 280 fishing vessels of all sizes use the Lorient Keroman port as a base for their operations, particularly to auction their fresh catch of fish.
The estimated 26,000 tonnes of fresh fish landed every year are supplemented by volumes shipped in from other regions of France and elsewhere around Europe for processing at the port’s string of plants.
A total of 80,000 tonnes of processed seafood flows through the port annually.
An integral part of the French port is a ship repair yard catering to a wide range of fishing vessels, as well as leisure boats and modest size marine vessels – a model that is proposed to be replicated in the Duqm hub as well.
Wholly state-owned Fisheries Development Oman (FDO), the lead partner in the consortium, is already the biggest investor in the Sultanate’s fisheries sector.
Created earlier this year out of the consolidation of Blue Waters LLC, Al Wusta Fishery Industries, and Oceanic Shrimp Aquaculture LLC, FDO has pledged to invest around RO 625 million in an array of fisheries projects, including aquaculture, shrimp farming and tuna fishing initiatives, as well as the development of a modern fleet of fishing vessels.