Muscat: A number of projects are underway in Duqm as Oman moves forwards with plans in 2020 towards securing its non-oil future during the coming years.
Several plans have already been implemented on the ground, such as the construction of the Ras Markaz oil storage terminal, with the first phase alone seeing the setup of a facility that can store up to six million platforms, while floating platforms for the import and export of oil will also be erected. In addition, a seven kilometre long submarine pipeline will connect the facility to the exterior, so that oil can be supplied as and when required.
The total area of the Ras Markaz storage depot is 1,600 hectares, and while that is one of the projects underway, others are also being built. Yahya bin Said Al Jabri, the CEO of the Special Economic Zone Authority at Duqm (SEZAD), said while the construction of the Chinese Industrial City was now in full swing, they were looking at other investors to commit resources to Duqm as well.
In addition, while several foreign investors are being invited to commit to Duqm, local companies are also showing interest. One of the first companies to pledge significant resources to the town on the shores of the Wusta Governorate was Renaissance Group, one of Oman’s largest organisations. Having already allocated $200 million to development in Duqm, the company recently put aside a further $50 million to its plans there, meaning they plan to invest a total of at least a quarter of a million dollars so far.
“We put $200 million into establishing Renaissance Village Duqm at a time when many were wary of risking big money investment,” explained Samir Fancy, the Chairman of Renaissance Group. “We just upped the ante with commitment to a further $50mn expansion of that facility. We have already announced our plans, our shareholders have approved this, the funding is available, and the project is going ahead.”
One of their key projects in Duqm was Renaissance Village, an accommodation facility that would house the hundreds of thousands of workers that would be expected to construct the many projects underway. Capable of accommodating up to 16,200 workers, the complex is self-sufficient, and provides the workers many vital facilities including nutritious meals, quality accommodation, on-site medical facilities, and laundry services, among others.
According to the Renaissance Chairman the $50 million expansion is just Phase I of further development in the pipeline. “The Renaissance Village concept provides turnkey housing and food services, with recreational and healthcare facilities that ensure a safe, dignified and healthy lifestyle for the entire workforce – blue collar to senior executive.”
“Anyone looking at the structure may just see a building,” he explained “But the Renaissance USP includes concept, design and delivery know-how, backed up by comprehensive logistics support and buying power arising from large-scale nationwide operations. This means we deliver the highest standard of workforce care at affordable costs for clients.”