Published: Sep 29, 2014
Source: Oman Daily Observer

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Abu Dhabi firm plans to invest $700m in Duqm fertiliser project

The UAE’s Ghantoot Group, a well-diversified corporation with commercial interests spanning infrastructure development, engineering services, utilities and transport, has outlined plans to invest around $700 million in a bio-fertiliser plant proposed at the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Duqm.

The proposed venture is part of a growing portfolio of investments planned by the Abu Dhabi based group in the Sultanate. They include several utility and hospitality projects first unveiled in 2012 and currently awaiting the necessary clearances and other support from Omani government authorities before they can be progressed through to implementation. Once completed, these projects will create jobs of Omanis and contribute to the local GDP.

Earlier, the Ghantoot Group had announced a commitment of $500 million which, with project financing, would cross over $1 billion over three years. It would also create direct employment of 300 jobs and indirect employment of at least another 1000.

Ghantoot has also since then actively participated in Oman’s tenders for infrastructure developments such as roads and has been a low bidder with high technical qualifications totalling nearly RO 200 million. The experience of implementing billions of dollars of infrastructure projects in time, quality and also at the lowest tendered prices comes from the huge resources, including plant and machinery available with the Group, considered to be one of the largest in the Middle East.

Rashid al Balooshi, Managing Director of Ghantoot Group, said the Group is currently in discussion with government bodies in Oman to complete the projects quickly. “We are pleased to be investing in Oman at a time when the government is undertaking rapid modernisation efforts to drive the economy forward. I am confident that our initiatives would contribute for a positive change in the country’s development.”

The proposed bio-fertiliser facility at Duqm, integrated with captive power and carbon capture, will help both the agriculture and oil and gas EOR, according to the company. In addition, the project has a 45000m3/day SWRO facility that will provide potable and process water cheaper than the present procurement processes in Oman without off-take guarantees.

The initiatives would reduce the direct long-term liabilities of guaranteed off-take on the Omani government of at least $1billion from its books as direct and contingent liabilities thus reducing the effect on the country’s long-term credit ratings.

Utico, the leading private utilities developer and operator, is part of the Ghantoot Group of companies and has been propagating the model of non-off-take model of Utility development in Oman and all over the world for the past eight years. Recently, over 116 companies took part in their massive 22MIGD solar-powered desalination plant, which is a benchmark for such developments. Ghantoot recently booked orders of over $5 billion, making it the leading infrastructure company in the region today.

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