Omani firm to set up mega livestock hub in Suwaiq

Muscat: The Sultanate’s government has roped in the private sector to establish a first of its kind complex for livestock marketing, complete with a world-scale abattoir and an array of associated facilities. The hub – conceived as a one-stop destination for wholesale and retail fresh meat sales – is coming up in the Wilayat of Al Suwaiq in South Al Batinah Governorate.

Naseer & Suleiman (N&S) Group of Companies, a well-diversified Omani business house, has won the mandate from the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources to develop and manage the complex on a Build – Own – Operate – Transfer (BOOT) basis. It is the latest in a string of initiatives by the Omani government to tap private sector funding and expertise in the development and operation of public infrastructure projects and services.

The project is set to be a singular addition to Oman’s rapidly expanding food supply industry, according to a key representative of N&S.

“This is an exciting project designed to serve the people of Oman with quality products, as well as facilities to support trade and commerce related to livestock and meat products,” said Wiam Bekker, Project Manager.  “Furthermore, the project will position the Sultanate as a regional and international player in the market, thereby securing foreign revenue for the country. N&S is privileged to be associated with this initiative and is committed to delivering a functional, cost-effective, high standard complex.”

Naseer al Habsi, Chairman

When operational in 2022, the proposed Central Livestock and Slaughterhouse Complex will dwarf in scope and capacity any comparable facility currently in operation in the Sultanate. In Phase 1 alone, the abattoir will be designed to process 2,500 small animals and up to 300 large animals, according to the Project Manager. At this capacity, ‘bone-in’ sheep and goat carcass production is projected at between 8,000 – 10,000 tons per annum, while beef cuts production is estimated at over 9,000 tons per year.

The livestock holding facility and market – another centerpiece of the project – is planned to have a capacity to hold and feed more than 25,000 animals of different breeds, said Bekker, noting that additional storage and processing will evolve in line with market trends.

Importantly, virtually every aspect of the Central Livestock and Slaughterhouse Project will be world-class, says Bekker. “The uniqueness of the project is that it will be a one-stop-shop for the public and commercial buyers, having access to an accredited hygienic slaughter and meat handling/processing facility, incorporated within a livestock market. The livestock market gives the customer options to buy an animal of choice and make use of the slaughter facility, if needed. An auction pavilion will be available where people can auction their animals.”

“Owning, operating, and building the Central Livestock Market and slaughterhouse gives us the opportunity to support and grow Oman’s initiatives in economy, trade and employment. We look to provide Oman with the highest standards of excellence in the Meat & Livestock industry and to offer meat products worthy of gaining a household name. It is our goal and ambition to build food security in Oman and create healthy trade among SMEs, farmers as well as job opportunities for locals,” commented Chairman Naseer al Habsi (pictured).

N&S, which has interests spanning the construction, engineering, oil & gas, food & beverage, and sports & recreation sectors, has a broad-based mandate in the delivery of the mega hub, said the CEO, Suleiman al Habsi

“We have responsibility to develop, finance, operate, and manage the entire complex.  N&S will build and operate the platform, which encompasses land preparation and development of all support infrastructure.  In addition, with N&S as master-developer, we will opportunities for others to invest in the complex and thereby share in the Ministry’s vision behind this endeavor.”

As Oman’s signature hub for livestock marketing and meat production, the complex will support investments in a number of related commercial and industrial activities, including cold storage warehousing, ice production, organic fertilizer production, veterinary services, office space, and so on.

“Other unique features envisaged are public convenience amenities, such as filling station so you can top up when visiting this destination, buy fresh meat from a butchery, enjoy a meal at one of several restaurants, enjoy shopping at the local souk, and even a spend a night or two, enjoying the farm life.”

Also as part of the Phase 1 facilities, the Central Livestock and Slaughterhouse Complex will feature, among other components, livestock sheds and markets, livestock auction facility, hide/skin processing facilities, waste processing, and butcheries for meat sales. Investments will also be solicited in amenities such as convenience stores, restrooms, shops and restaurants, hotels, cold storage, mosque, and educational centre.

“N&S is confident that the project will stimulate investment and economic development in the wider Suwaiq area, thus creating opportunities for employment generation and SME development,” he added.