(EnergyAsia, May 27 2013, Monday) — Oman’s Takamul Investment Co and Singapore’s Sembcorp have announced they will jointly develop centralised utilities facilities for the Duqm Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the Middle Eastern country.

Takamul, an Oman Oil Company subsidiary, will be the majority owner with a 65% stake in building the country’s first centralised facilities to supply power, steam, water, sewerage treatment and on-site logistics services to industrial customers in what will become one of the world’s largest industrial and commercial hubs in southern Oman. The new joint venture firm, Centralised Utilities Company (CUC), will have an initial share capital of one million Omani rial. (US$1=0.38 rial).

Sembcorp and Takamul intend to invest in separate special purpose companies to develop and own facilities supplying CUC with energy, water and other on-site logistics. CUC will operate and maintain the facilities.

Strategically located along the Gulf of Oman with a long coastline running along the Arabian Sea, Duqm is being developed as a major gateway for the oil trade in the Middle East as well as an regional industrial and commercial hub.

With an 80-kilometre coastline, the 1,777-sq km Duqm SEZ will rank as the largest in the Middle East and North Africa region and one of the largest in the world. It will be administered, regulated and developed by the Duqm Special Economic Zone Authority, a financially and administratively independent government entity.

To be developed in three phases through 2025, Duqm will include a sea port, city centre, industrial zone, tourism zone, logistics centre and an education and training zone, all supported by a multimodal transport system connecting the SEZ to nearby regions.

SembCorp said Duqm will showcase Oman’s first centralised utilities model, building on the company’s considerable expertise and operating experience in this field.

“Under this unique model, multiple customers are offered an integrated supply of energy, water and on-site logistics produced by centralised facilities. By outsourcing critical utilities to Sembcorp, companies can focus on their core business and save on investment and operating costs. They can also be assured of reliable solutions which meet stringent environmental standards.

“From its beginnings in Singapore’s petrochemical hub, Jurong Island, this model has been successfully replicated in key industrial sites internationally. Including Duqm, Sembcorp’s centralised utilities model has now been implemented in 10 sites across Singapore, the UK, China and the Middle East. The company also lends its expertise to develop local resources in markets where it operates through skills and knowledge transfer programmes.”

Nasser bin Khamis Al Jashmi, Oman Oil Company’s chairman, said:

“The CUC will contribute to His Majesty’s vision of developing Duqm as a major national and international hub supporting the economic development of Oman. We are happy that Takamul and Sembcorp have joined forces and together we are confident of a very successful outcome.”

Nabil Al-Ghassani, Takamul’s CEO, said:

“Sembcorp was selected through a very extensive evaluation process of a number of utilities providers, because of their considerable expertise and operating experience in this field.”

Sembcorp’s presence in Duqm will mark its second project in Oman.

Earlier, the company celebrated the official opening of its first operation in Oman, the Salalah Independent Water and Power Plant. The plant supplies 445 megawatts of power and 15 million imperial gallons (69,000 cubic metres) per day of desalinated water to state-owned Oman Power and Water Procurement Company under a 15-year power and water purchase agreement.