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    Duqm to be hub for manufacturing solar equipment, high tech suvs

    Oman is soon going to be the hub for manufacturing solar equipment and also a base for making high-tech SUVs, targeted at military and civilian markets. 
    Chinese companies signed ten agreements worth US$3.2bn last week to set up businesses in the China-Oman Industrial Park at the Special Economic Zone in Duqm.

    Among the ten projects, the most notable is the solar equipment manufacturing hub with an investment of around US$94mn. The project to be developed by solar photovoltaic equipment manufacture specialist Ningxia Zhongke Jiaye New Energy & Technology Management will see production of 400 megwatts/per year (MWp) of goods in Phase 1, while increasing to 1 gigawatts/per year (GWp) in further expansions.

    Another important project for sultanate's automotive manufacturing industry is the US$84mn SUV production unit by Chinese SUV maker Wuhan Xiao Long Auto-Tech Co, which will be targeting its vehicles at military and civilian markets. In the first phase, production is expected to touch 9,000 units for civil use, and 1,000 units for military. Later on, the company plans to establish an electromechanical industrial park to support the growth of an SUV manufacturing industry in Duqm.

    Chinese companies Hebei Electric Power Design & Research Institute and Ningxia Electric Power Design Institute will invest US$406mn in the development of a 300MW power plant to meet the requirements of tenants operating within the China-Oman Industrial Park. Some of the other agreements included a water desalination plant, methanol and methanol-to-olefins project, a five-star hotel, construction materials factory, and a factory for non-metal pipes used in oilfields.

    The agreements were signed during the foundation stone laying ceremony held last week for the Sino-Oman Industrial City in Duqm, whose investments are expected to cross US$10bn by 2022. It was held under the auspices of H H Sayyid Taimour bin Asa’ad bin Tariq al Said in the presence of H E Yahya bin Said al Jabri, chairman, Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm and Wang Heshan, vice governor of Ningxia and chairman of the Wanfang Oman Group.

    H E Jabri said that the Sino-Oman Industrial City project crowns the joint efforts between the sultanate and China. It is also an addition to the historic, political and trade relations between the two countries. Heshan said that the project is a new springboard for friendship and cooperation between the two sides and that it is supported by governments in both countries and Chinese businessmen.

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