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Construction sector to stay on growth path

 Staff reporter

MUSCAT

The construction industry in the Sultanate registered an average annual growth rate of 9.4 per cent between 2012 and 2016, according to analysis by research solution provider ReportLinker.

This real-term growth during the review period was supported by the government’s Eighth Five-Year Development Plan 2010–2015, the report says.

The construction industry is expected to continue expansion in real terms over the forecast period (2017–2021). Despite low oil prices, the government is focusing on the development of transport infrastructure, energy and utilities facilities and affordable housing.

Government investments in sea ports, railway lines, airports and special economic zones under the Ninth Five-Year Development Plan 2016–2020 and the Oman Vision 2020 are expected to drive growth in the industry over the forecast period. The government is focusing on the development of energy and renewable energy power plants across the country under Oman’s National Energy Strategy 2040 to meet rising electricity demand with low greenhouse gas emissions. It plans to meet one-fourth of the power demand by 2020 from renewable sources, the report notes.

The government’s focus on railways is expected to drive growth in the infrastructure construction market over the forecast period. Under Oman’s Ninth Five-year Development Plan 2016–2020, the government is planning to invest 5-6 billion on the proposed 2,135-km rail network by 2020.

The development of affordable housing is expected to drive growth in the residential construction market over the forecast period. Under Vision 2020, the plan is to spend 80 million rials annually to ease the affordable housing deficit. The government is focusing on developing water infrastructure and the National Water Sector Master Plan is to invest 2.5 billion rials to increase the total length of the water distribution network.

The proposal is to build 1GW of solar power plants as a public-private partnership on an investment of 769 million rials in Duqm by 2020. Move is on to attract foreign manufacturers as part of the diversification strategy. In May 2016, the government signed an agreement with China to build the China-Omani industrial park on 1,172 hectares in Duqm on by 2022.