Oman Country Guide
The Sultanate of Oman is pushing ahead with its rapid development with the ongoing construction of major infrastructure projects in many parts of the country. More development projects are set to be implemented in the coming years as the Sultanate takes concrete measures to diversify its economy.
Oman’s economy, like the rest of the Gulf, is very strong and continues to grow year on year. Record budget surpluses are adding impetus to this infrastructure and industrial development programme, involving US$ 150 billion of major construction projects, creating a significant demand for associated products and services. According to the Office of National Statistics, The fastest growing export market for the UK since 2010 was Oman, with exports increasing by 354% to £3 billion.
Current Key Sectors
Hotel and Tourism
Specific projects include new resort villas, conference facilities, leisure resorts, golf courses and hotels as well as the refurbishment of some of the major existing international hotels. Multi-hotel complexes are planned for Muscat’s new convention centre, as well as in Salalah, Yiti, Sifah, and Duqm.
Oman’s power sector is expected to attract roughly US$ 7 billion in new investments in the near to medium term. The figure includes US$ 6 billion in new power generation and water desalination capacity, while the remainder will be earmarked for the expansion of power transmission and distribution networks. A massive surge of investment designed to boost Oman’s economy and infrastructure with the Sultanate’s new railway project and construction of new roads, airports, sea ports, hotels, resorts, industrial zones, energy and water facilities, epitomises an impressive effort to reduce dependence on petroleum resources.
This investment creates a massive demand for associated products and services and with little local competition, a significant export expansion opportunity for appropriate suppliers. In order to assist British exporters, DIT are providing significant levels of financial support to eligible companies.
Demand for desalinated water is projected to more than double from 132.9 million cum per year in 2009 to 320.6 million cum by 2016. This growth will be fuelled by a number of factors, chiefly population growth and social development as well as an active policy by the government to shift away from groundwater as a source of potable water supply.
A further need for a number of large-sized desalination plants has been identified to help meet this demand for water. The Salalah IWPP, which is presently under construction, will meet the lion’s share of water demand in the Dhofar Zone when it comes on stream in the nearest future.
Oman - National Railways Network (HVO OMN-1)
According to DIT, the Sultanate of Oman, along with other members of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) is in early stages of setting up its first ever railway system at an estimated cost of $15 billion.
Plans for the Oman rail network span a length of over 2244 km over 9 segments between the Oman/UAE border in the north and the border with Yemen in the south. The network specification will be double track non-electrified railway line with Continuous Welded Rail (CWR) requiring 12,000km of rails, over 10 million sleepers and over 40 million rail fastenings. Traffic will be a mixture of freight and passenger with plans for 46 stations and 8 maintenance yards.
Apart from key components such as tracks, civil engineering, rolling stock etc, opportunities can be expected to arise throughout the life of the project in the following areas of activity:
Topographic Survey, including aerial survey
Hydrological studies and Hydraulic Analysis.
Integration of logistical and commercial infrastructure.
Italferr were awarded the Preliminary Design Contract. The Oman Rail Company (reporting to the Ministry of Transport and Communications - MoTC) is currently evaluating bids for the Project Management Contract (PMC) and a decision is imminent. Prequalification for the Design and Engineering contract (DEC) is expected to roll out by early 2014.
Oman’s current five year plan period 2011-2015 has ear-marked over RO 1 billion for expanding the country’s road system. In addition there are several high-value road-building projects worth nearly RO 0.5 billion underway. It is also reasonable to expect significant amounts of work to arise from the need to construct access roads, runways, internal roads etc at airports, ports and harbours. The total cost is over RO 3.5 billion.
Oil and Gas
With its oilfields maturing at a rapid pace, there is a need to introduce a range of increasingly complex technologies to extract oil. These include thermally assisted gas/oil gravity drainage and steam injection and polymer flooding, alkaline/surfactant/polymer flooding and microbial EOR. Rising volume of water seeping into reservoirs expected to increase by 35% in the next ten years also presents further challenges.
Investment areas include drilling of exploratory and developmental oil wells, upgrading facilities and utilities of basic infrastructure, and conducting related studies.