Plan for new Wusta Ce­ment pro­ject makes head­way

DUQM HUB: Draft re­port on fea­si­bil­ity study be­ing re­viewed by joint ven­ture part­ners

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE - CON­RAD PRABHU MUS­CAT, JULY 29

Con­sul­tants ap­pointed by the two prin­ci­pal part­ners be­hind plans for the es­tab­lish­ment of a ma­jor ce­ment plant in Duqm have sub­mit­ted a draft of their fea­si­bil­ity study into the pro­ject.

Oman Ce­ment Com­pany and Ray­sut Ce­ment Com­pany, the Sul­tanate’s two main ce­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers, have set up a joint ven­ture to ex­plore the fea­si­bil­ity of set­ting up a large ce­ment plant at the Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone (SEZ) in Duqm.

Al Wusta Ce­ment LLC, the new JV, will not only seek to meet the in­fra­struc­ture re­quire­ments of in­vestors set­ting up op­er­a­tions in Duqm, but will also tar­get ex­port mar­kets in the Mid­dle East, East Africa and the In­dian sub-con­ti­nent.

“The con­sul­tant ap­pointed to pre­pare the fea­si­bil­ity re­port for the joint ven­ture com­pany, Al Wusta Ce­ment LLC, has sub­mit­ted the draft re­port, which is un­der re­view by the com­pany and the joint ven­ture part­ners,” said Dr Ab­dul­lah Ab­bas Ahmed, Chair­man of the Board of Oman Ce­ment (OCC) — one of the joint ven­ture part­ners, in the half yearly re­port of OCC’s fi­nan­cial per­for­mance.

The JV is seek­ing to par­tially off­set a widen­ing deficit in do­mes­tic ca­pac­ity that cur­rently leaves the Sul­tanate de­pen­dent on im­ports for an as­ton­ish­ing 54 per cent of its to­tal re­quire­ment of ce­ment. Tan­feedh — the Na­tional Pro­gramme for En­hanc­ing Eco­nomic Diver­si­fi­ca­tion — is moot­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of a ce­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing hub in Duqm to plug this short­fall through in­vest­ments in as many as three new ce­ment plants in the SEZ.

Tan­feedh’s pro­pos­als call for the de­vel­op­ment of two ce­ment plants each of a ca­pac­ity of 3 mil­lion tonnes per an­num, and a white ce­ment plant ini­tially of 300,000 met­ric tonnes per an­num ded­i­cated pri­mar­ily for ex­port. Also pro­posed are ce­ment grind­ing plants in Duqm and Suhar.

Given Duqm’s po­si­tion­ing as an ex­port-ori­ented hub, other in­vestors have also an­nounced ten­ta­tive plans to ce­ment-re­lated in­vest­ments in the SEZ. Re­cently, Mus­cat-based Al An­war Hold­ings Co an­nounced that it had en­tered into a share­hold­ers’ agree­ment with Ira­nian ce­ment pro­ducer Hor­moz­gan Ce­ment Co (HCC) to set up a ce­ment grind­ing unit in the SEZ. Hor­muz Al An­war Ce­ment SAOC, the new JV, plans to set up a plant with a ca­pac­ity rang­ing from 600,000-1,000,000 met­ric tonnes per an­num with an in­vest­ment of around RO 10.5 mil­lion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Oman

© PressReader. All rights reserved.