Muscat: A major distribution facility for building materials, which is one of the 10 projects planned by Chinese firms in Duqm, will be ready by the middle of 2019, according to a top-level official at Oman Wanfang.
The building material distribution centre, which is coming up in an area of 500,000 square metres, is being developed by Ningxia Ningqiao Commercial Investment and Operation Ltd. with an estimated investment of $46 million. The Chinese company had signed a land lease agreement with Oman Wanfang in April this year for establishing the facility.
“We do not have a very big building material distribution in the region. And this (Duqm facility) will support the regional development. Build material will be imported from China and other countries,” Ali Shah, chairman of Oman Wanfang LLC, told the Times of Oman in an exclusive interview.
“Duqm, which is also developing, requires a lot of building materials.”
Shah said the proposed building material distribution centre will provide everything (for the construction sector), from steel bar to furniture.
“The detailed design for the project is going on now. We can start work on building the facility by the end of the year and it will take one-and-a-half years to complete the facility,” added Shah.
Since Duqm has a fully fledged port facility, import and export will be much easy.
The building material distribution centre is part of the 10 projects planned by Chinese companies in Duqm and is coming up within the China Oman Industrial Park, which has a huge area of 11.72 square kilometres.
Oman Wanfang, which is a consortium of six Chinese private firms, will develop, manage and attract direct foreign investment from China for building a host of light, medium and heavy industries and tourism projects.
In a major push for the ambitious development programme of the Duqm free zone, 10 Chinese firms have signed land lease agreements for building various projects, totalling an investment of $3.06 billion in April this year. These projects, which are expected to change the face of Duqm as a major manufacturing and trans-shipment hub, range from a $2.3 billion methanol venture to $406 million-power project and a five-star hotel.
Apart from these 10 projects, another 25 projects are also conducting their market/feasibility study to set up manufacturing units in Duqm.
The investment commitment for a wide range of industries by Chinese companies will create thousands of job opportunities for local Omanis and is considered as a major boost to the government’s efforts to attract much-needed foreign direct investment to prop up the economy.