Oman on track to have record-breaking project year

According to information from the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED), Oman's projects market is on track to have another record-breaking year.

So far, the sultanate has awarded more than $11 billion worth of contracts. $14.8 billion were awarded in 2014, which was a record.

Projects leading to those record numbers include the multi-billion-dollar Khazzan and Makarem tight gas development, the $900 million Yibal Khuff sour gas development, the $630 million Salalah independent power project and the Miraah solar power plant, which carries an estimated price tag of $600 million.

It is also expected that the first phase of the Oman Rail project will be awarded, and that project will be worth more than $1 billion. Additionally, the four multi-billion-dollar main packages on the Liwa plastics scheme, as well as the Barka and Sohar independent water projects, valued at about $500 million each, are expected to be awarded.

During the Oman Projects Forum set for Oct. 26-28, updates will be given on major projects connected to Oman's infrastructure, transport, power, water, social and tourism 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,” Ed James, MEED projects director of content and analysis, said. 

In the past, Oman's average contracts awarded per year about was $8 billion. There is some concern as to whether or not the upswing will continue with the decrease in oil prices.

“Like most GCC states, Oman is reliant on oil income and will be under pressure to cut spending,” James said. “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.”

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