Oman to Go ahead with $6b Duqm Refinery

Source: Times of Oman 2/28/2012, Location: Middle East

Oman government is proceeding with its plan to build a large refinery in joint venture with Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) at Duqm. The consultant, which conducted a feasibility study for building a 230,000 barrel per day refinery and a petrochemical complex, has already submitted its report.

“Land has been reserved for the project at Duqm and it takes five years to complete the project,” said Eng Yahya bin Khamis al Zadjali, Head of Planning and Engineering, Duqm Special Economic Zone Authority. According to earlier reports, the capital expenditure of the refinery and petrochemical complex is estimated at $6 billion, which will be split evenly between IPIC and Oman Oil Company - Oman government’s investment arm.

Making a presentation on various infrastructure and industrial projects at Duqm at the third investor conference organised by BankMuscat yesterday, Al Zadjali said the Duqm-UAE sector is included in the first phase of the Oman National Railway Project.

“A 900-km railway line between the UAE and Duqm is planned in the first phase of the national railway development. The Ministry of Transport and Communications has already floated a tender for designing the route. The railway is expected to start operation by 2018. Duqm will be connected with Yemen in the second phase,” he said, adding; “It will make a lot of difference for Duqm. All industrial areas will be linked with railway lines.”

Plans are also afoot to build a gas-fired power plant with either 500MW or 1000MW generation capacity. Another major utility project is a desalination unit with a capacity of 6,000 cubic metres of water, which will serve 35,000 people. This will be scaled up to 10,000 cubic metres to serve 100,000 people in the second phase. Further, a 70-km long road is also under construction.

Referring to the progress on building Duqm port, Al Zadjali said the port will start operation with eight berths by the end of the year. The Oman government has already formed a 50:50-joint venture with Antwerp port to manage the port. The port will have 50 berths in the second phase, he noted. The investor forum was organised under the auspices of Sa’ad bin Mohammed Al Mardhouf Al Sa’adi, Minister of Commerce and Industry.

Suleiman bin Mohammed Al-Yahyaei, Deputy Chairman of BankMuscat said: “The convening of BankMuscat third Investor Forum conforms with specific directives set by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. These directives called upon both Omani and foreign investors to fully contribute to the development of the Sultanate of Oman.” Al Yahyaei urged regional investors and business people to take full advantage of the many business opportunities, incentives and superb facilities offered by the Omani government.

AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive of BankMuscat, said: “The two-day conference assumes importance against the backdrop of directives by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, inviting Omani and foreign investors to participate in the development march of Oman.” The annual conference is aimed at providing a strategic forum to broaden the financial community’s awareness. Of the performing public companies in the region.”


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