A major initiative with investments likely to cross $10 billion was kickstarted on Wednesday with the laying of the foundation stone for the Sino-Oman Industrial City and signing of 10 agreements.
The ceremony was held under the auspices of HH Sayyid Taimour Bin Asa’ad Al Said in the presence of Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm (Sezad) Chairman HE Yahya Bin Said Al Jabri and Wanfang Oman Group Chairman Ningxia Vice-Governor Wang Heshan.
Ten agreements were signed between Wanfang Oman and some Chinese companies to implement $3.2 billion worth of projects in the industrial city. These include a manufacturing facility for solar energy equipment with a capacity of 1,000 Gigawatt a year, a factory for oil and gas services, a water desalination plant, a facility for bromine exploration, a power plant, a five-star hotel, a construction materials factory, a vehicle factory and a non-metal pipes unit to serve the needs of oilfields.
The industrial city project crowns the joint efforts by the Sultanate and China through Wnafang Oman and Sezad, according to Al Jabri. It was also an addition to the historic, political and trade relations between the two countries. The Sultanate, under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, seeks to boost the bilateral economic and political relations and bring benefits to both countries, he added.
Heshan said the project was a new springboard for the friendship and cooperation and was supported by both the governments and businessmen from China. Many mega projects whose investments would amount to $3.2 billion would be launched soon.
The ceremony was attended by Minster of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources HE Ahmed Bin Abdullah Al Shuhi, Al Wusta Governor HE Sheikh Me’athad Bin Mohammed Al Ya’qoubi and the Chinese Ambassador, besides officials and dignatries.
It was in May last that Sezad made the deal with Oman Wanfang, a consortium of six private Chinese corporations, for setting up the industrial city which is to be a dedicated industrial park in the SEZ with the aim of making it the latest investment hub.
Spread over 1,172 hectares, it will also have the second oil refinery in Duqm with massive capacity of 230,000 barrels per day. To complement this will be a massive petrochemicals complex.
The refinery venture will be in the size of the Duqm Refinery, a 50:50 joint venture between the Sultanate’s state-owned Oman Oil Company and Kuwait Petroleum International, which is now under construction.
Plans are underway to set up a light and medium industries zone that will have assembly plants, automotive assembly units, foods processing units, logistics ventures and units for manufacturing car batteries, oil and gas tools.