Muscat: A new railway line is currently being planned in the Sultanate of Oman, according to the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
The Oman Railways is currently working on planning and development of a local rail line, named the ‘Line of Metals’, which is expected to facilitate the transfer of mineral resources, such as gypsum and limestone, from the Shweimiyah area in the Dhofar governorate to the port of Duqm.
“The length of the line is 375 km and a Royal Decree has been issued on the determination of the route’s general utility. The design of the metal pipeline route will be interoperable with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) network and thus contribute to enabling infrastructure development in the area around the pipeline,” the ministry stated.
The General Authority for Mining and Oman Metals Development Company is currently studying the quality of metals in the region to ensure the economic feasibility of the project, after which Oman Railways will build the line.
Oman Railways will provide the cost of developing, designing, and constructing the Line of Metals. The estimate includes railway infrastructure, as well as segregation and loading requirements for ships. Funding for the project is being explored through public-private partnership.
Meanwhile, despite the challenges it faces, Oman Railways is ready to begin working on the GCC connectivity project.
“The GCC connectivity project is proceeding at a slow pace and the Sultanate of Oman continues to be committed to connecting with the GCC countries. This commitment, however, depends on the readiness of the GCC countries for each of its linkages,” the ministry added.