Construction work on Oman’s biggest breeder poultry project – an investment that seeks to eliminate the country’s longstanding dependence on imported hatching eggs for its rapidly expanding poultry industry – is nearing completion at Haima in the desert heartland of the Sultanate.
Osool Poultry, a project conceived as part of a government-driven strategy to develop and strengthen the country’s food security, is dedicated to the production of hatching eggs – the source of baby chicks for poultry farms proliferating around the Sultanate.
Annual output at full capacity is envisioned at a world-scale 150 million fertilised eggs per annum – a target set to be achieved by 2040. At this capacity, Oman is set to be more than self-sufficient in meeting its domestic requirement of hatching eggs, and will also have surplus volumes to supply overseas regional markets.
Osool Poultry was first unveiled in 2015 with the backing of key stakeholders, including A’Namaa Poultry, a subsidiary of Oman Food Investment Holding Company, which is developing the Sultanate’s biggest white meat project at Ibri in Dhahirah Governorate. The list of promoters include A’saffa Foods, Sohar Poultry, Delmon Poultry as well as multilateral organisations Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) and the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development (AAAID).
Facilitating speedy approvals for the project has been the Implementation Support & Follow-up Unit (ISFU), which has the government’s mandate to fast-track projects deemed critical to supporting Oman’s economic diversification.
Following a significant reduction in the initial RO 60 million capital outlay for the project, well-known civil engineering design firm Semac and Partners Oman LLC was roped in by the promoters to oversee the delivery of a leaner version of the same venture, while ensuring that all of the key project and biosecurity specs were met. Semac is credited with playing a key role in the implementation of the great majority of Oman’s major poultry farm projects.
Adding to the uniqueness of Osool Poultry is its location in the arid desert wastelands of central Oman – a setting that contributes to the project’s overall biosecurity, according to project officials. The farm complex, featuring a network of four plots, has been constructed at Ghaftain, far removed from any urban setting. While three of the plots feature poultry houses for rearing and egg production, a fourth plot will be equipped with a small-scale processing plant for the culling of chickens and production of small quantities of white meat. A feed-mill designed to meet the chicken feed requirements of the entire project is also planned on the fourth plot.
In addition to natural biosecurity and favourable wind direction afforded by its location in Haima, Osool Poultry will also benefit from the presence of groundwater in aquifers in the area. Suited to poultry projects, the groundwater will help also sustain the project over its operational life.
Various contractors associated with the execution of the project are now in the final stages of handing over their respective sites – a process due to continue over the third quarter of this year, paving the way for the plant to commence operations in earnest.