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    Tatweer expands investment footprint in Duqm Special Economic Zone

    The Oman Company for the Development of the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (Tatweer), the wholly-owned infrastructure investment arm of the SEZ Authority of Duqm (SEZAD), has seen the total value of projects and investments supported by the company soar to RO 650 million.
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    As part of its broad-based mandate, Tatweer invests in basic infrastructure such as earth works, roads and transportation systems, and utilities such as telecommunications, water, electricity and gas supply — facilities that are a prerequisite for attracting local and international investment into the SEZ. Established in 2013, the state-owned firm also manages infrastructure assets set up within the SEZ and takes a minority stake in investments of strategic significance to the Zone and the wider national economy.

    Over the past year, Tatweer has taken equity stakes in a three ventures — investments that offer a sense of the vision and business rationale underpinning the company’s growth strategy.
    It is participating in the equity of Duqm Quarries Company, an entity set up last year to operate and manage quarries and mineral-based investments in the SEZ. Tatweer is among a host of firms that have a shareholding in Duqm Quarries, which is 10 per cent owned by local inhabitants of the Wilayat of Duqm.

    Besides operating quarries for the production of gravel and construction sand, Duqm Quarries is also eying investments in projects that will cater to the building material needs of the SEZ in the coming year. Demand for aggregate and other construction materials is estimated at between 500 – 1,000 metric tonnes of materials.

    According to Duqm Economist, the quarterly newsletter of SEZAD, Tatweer has also invested in Imdad Logistics.

    More recently, the company signed a partnership agreement with Oman Wanfang, the master developer of the ambitious Sino-Oman Industrial Park project, to acquire a 15 per cent stake in the Duqm Company for Building Materials Market, one of several investments being made in the industrial park.

    Oman Wanfang, with a 51 per cent stake, and Thabit Holding Company (with 15 per cent) are also shareholders in the Building Materials Market project — an initiative to set up a regional hub for all kinds of building and construction material in Duqm. The Market features plots for manufacturing, fabrication, warehousing and retail selling of all kinds of building materials.

    Last year, Tatweer signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Adani Ports and Special Economic Zones Limited (APSEZL), a private-led ports and SEZs promoter in India.
    Under the agreement, APSEZL and SEZAD will explore opportunities for joint investment in the Duqm SEZ in areas of mutual interest. Both sides will work towards developing a framework for investment and cooperation based on which APSEZL will list out projects that it intends to implement in Duqm.

    Conrad Prabhu - Oman Observer

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