Construction work of Space Launch Complex to start in Duqm this year

Oman Monday 09/January/2023 20:17 PM
Construction work of Space Launch Complex to start in Duqm this year

Muscat: The Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology on Monday organised Oman Space Sector Symposium, themed "Future Approaches and Investment Opportunities". The symposium reviewed the executive programme for the space sector, the reality and future of the space sector plans and investment opportunities in this field.

The symposium was opened by Dr. Mohammed Nasser Al Za’abi, Secretary General at the Ministry of Defence.

The symposium was aimed at introducing the space sector policy and executive programme drafted by the Ministry in cooperation with partners in the sector. It sought to achieve the objectives of the Digital Economy Programme and Oman Vision 2040, raise awareness among relevant authorities about its technologies and identify current and future opportunities for cooperation and partnerships in this sector.

Eng. Said Hamoud Al Ma’awali, Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, said in a statement that the symposium focused on investment opportunities available in the field of space.

He added that the National Centre for Space, Advanced Technology and Artificial Intelligence conducted a study about research in the field of space investment opportunities

Speaking to reporters, the minister said that the outcome of the study shows that 90 percent of opportunities that the ministry seeks to create during the next 20 years will be in downstream structures of the space sector, with some opportunities in upstream investments.

So far, more than 15 investment opportunities have been identified in the space sector, with 10 opportunities to be offered this year, said the minister. He added that steps are under way to launch of Oman Communications Satellite and that recent estimates indicate that the launch will take place in 2025.

Dr. Ali Amer Al Shaidhani, Communications and Information Technology Undersecretary, pointed out that the ministry espoused a methodology of harmonization and partnership when drafting the policy and executive programme for the space sector.

He explained that the policy brought about promising investment opportunities for Oman in the field of Space services and applications. These investments will benefit from several realistic potentials, including Oman’s strategic location, infrastructure laid down by the government over the past decades and growing demand for various space services.

In the same context an agreement was signed by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth and Oman LNG Company. The agreement provides for the establishment of a gallery for space science and technology at the Children's Museum with the purpose of simulating virtual reality of a spacecraft.

The Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology also signed a similar usufruct contract with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning and the National Space Services Company. The usufruct provides for the construction of a space rocket platform to benefit amateurs and researchers (low-scale) and to develop a scholarly climate for scientists, researchers and specialists.

The platform also paves the way to study space missile launch, encourage specialized tourism and attract amateurs to space activities.

Haitham Ahmed Al Mahrazi, Project Manager of the Space Launch Complex in Duqm, said that the project will begin towards the end of 2023 in the Wilayat of Duqm on an area of more than 250,000 sqm.