Oman awards project contracts worth $11 billion in 2015
Muscat - The country has already awarded contracts worth more than $11 billion in the first eight months in 2015, and is on track to beat the $14.8 billion awards signed in 2014.
By Staff Report
Published: Mon 28 Sep 2015, 12:00 AM
Last updated: Mon 28 Sep 2015, 10:10 AM
Oman's projects market is set for another record-breaking year, according to data from Meed Projects, an online projects tracking service. The country has already awarded contracts worth more than $11 billion in the first eight months in 2015, and is on track to beat the $14.8 billion awards signed in 2014.
The pace has been set by a raft of major projects, including the multibillion dollar Khazzan and Makarem tight gas fields, the $900 million Yibal Khuff sour gas project, the $630 million Salalah independent power project and the $600 million Miraah solar power plant.
Other awards due to be tendered this year are the first segment of the Oman Rail project, expected to be worth in excess of $1 billion, the four multibillion dollar main packages on the Liwa plastics scheme, and the Barka and Sohar independent water projects, valued at about $500 million each.
Updates on Oman's major infrastructure, transport, power, water, social and tourism projects will be shared at this year's Oman Projects Forum taking place on October 26 and 28 in Muscat.
The forum will be held under the patronage of Dr Ali Massoud Al Sunaidi, Minister of Commerce and Industry.
Representatives from project owners, developers and contractors will share critical insights into Oman's capital expenditure plans and the scale of opportunities across sectors.
"Whether Oman beats last year's record for contract awards will largely depend on the award of a handful of major contracts by the end of 2015," said Ed James, Meed Projects director of content and analysis. "However, with most of them at an advanced stage of tender evaluation, we are hopeful that awards will be made soon."
Oman has traditionally been a small market by regional standards, with about $8 billion worth of contracts awarded each year. However, the past 18 months have seen a steep change in activity as the government looks to proceed with a number of key projects such as the Muscat International Airport, the modernisation of the Sohar refinery and the planned railway network.
However, in light of the oil price slump, concerns are growing over whether current spending levels can be maintained into 2016 and beyond with the government under pressure to cut expenditure.
"Like most GCC states, Oman is reliant on oil income and will be under pressure to cut spending," said James. "If it is to maintain a steady flow of new projects, then the sultanate may well have to look at new ways of raising finance such PPP-type deals and bond and sukuk issuances."
These issues along with the prospects for the current and future projects market will be discussed at Meed's Oman Projects Forum, where stakeholders including Oman Airport Management Company, Ministry of Manpower Oman, Omran, Oman Air, Ministry of Transport and Communications Oman, Sohar Port and Freezone will share their plans for 2015 and beyond.