By Samuel Kutty — MUSCAT: Dec 3: A world-class scaffolding manufacturing project is proposed to come up close to Sohar Industrial Estate. A proposal to this effect is one among many manufacturing projects and initiatives by Tanfeedh Lab aimed at achieving economic diversification as part of the Sultanate’s Five-Year Development Plan. “Oman’s growth in manufacturing is too slow despite some success in downstream petrochemicals. This sector is an important part of the economy that needs to increase its contribution to the national GDP, Tanfeedh commented in the project report.
The Tanfeedh Lab identified four major subsector contributors and two enablers with a total number of 21 initiatives and projects in Oman’s manufacturing sectors with fabrication of metals as one among them. One of the initiatives envisages that Sohar Aluminium may be expanded for production of liquid metal. It also suggests that fabrication of scaffolding and its parts be included along with manufacturing of downstream aluminium and steel products. The development of project spans over 44 weeks involving three major phases lead by potential investors and supported by Petroleum Development Oman.
As advances are made in technology, the scaffolding and formwork project will have countless opportunities for growth in the future, the proposal aimed at catalysing international investment in high-value manufacturing in the Sultanate, says.
In phase one of the project, investors will finalise the business plan, decide on the financial investment and assess the local market capacity and its incountry value.
While in the second phase, the tender process should be done following which earth work, construction of the factory and staff recruitment should be done.
Omanis should be given training through institutes like Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) or UK Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS), the Tanfeedh overview suggests.
The commissioning of the project is targeted to be in December 2017 and included in phase 7 of Sohar Industrial Estate, while first production is planned to be in January 2018.
“Locally there is only one small manufacturer or assembler of scaffolding in Sohar. However, the market is mainly held with international players from a neighbouring country”, the report points out.
The import value of scaffolding within the GCC over the last five years has shown an annual compound growth of 20 per cent indicating a constant demand. PDO is expected to give a yearly feedback to local scaffolding companies on gap assessments and issuing the list of approved local manufacturers to EPC contractors.