Duqm Special Economic Zone
The Special Economic Zone of Duqm (SEZD) is conveniently located between Muscat and Salalah, outside of the Strait of Hormuz. It is an economic zone with various investment incentives and the current prestige project of the Sultanate of Oman.
The incentives include the exemption from income tax and customs duties, no need for a local partner to be able to found a business, 100 percent business ownership with full repatriation of investment capital and profits as well as no existing minimum investment capital. These conditions already resulted in significant marine traffic to the port of Duqm, part of the SEZD, which is built by a joint venture between the government of Oman and the Consortium Antwerp of Belgium.
The latest demonstration of the ports capabilities have been two 45,000 tons rigs that were unloaded at the port. Due to the rise in the ports utilization MAN Energy Solutions announced to expand its business operation to Duqm and is planning to offer marine engine services from 2020 onwards. In addition to the port, the SEZD also features a dry dock, an airport, a logistics center, a fishery harbor, and living quarters with resident houses and hotels. Furthermore, the SEZD provides an extensive infrastructure connecting it to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Only just, Eid bin Mohammed al-Thaqafi, KSA Accredited Ambassador to the Sultanate said that the 570km road between UAE and KSA, leading through the Empty quarters is about to be completed at the end of the year. Moreover, Omani authorities reported that the Adam-Haima road, which connects the northern parts of Oman with the southern parts and Duqm, has been completed by more than 75 percent.
The advantageous location and infrastructure of the SEZD already attracted investors of the petrochemical industry, like the Duqm Refinery and Petrochemical Industries Company L.L.C, a Joint Venture between Oman Oil Company (OOC) and Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI) for the purpose of building a new refinery at SEZD. Construction work has already started, whereas the main work will begin in two months. Recently, Galfar Engineering & Contracting, the largest construction company in the sultanate, has been awarded a US$ 50.6 million subcontract by the Petrofac-Samsung JV for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) works at the Duqm Refinery project. The refinery will provide 800 new jobs and will have the capacity to process around 230,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
To elevate the investments in the refinery to a global level the Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm (SEZAD), which administers the special economic zone, met with investors of more than 70 companies of the oil and gas sector in Houston, Texas, USA on the 13th October. But not only globally, also regionally the interest in the SEZ of Duqm rises, as a Saudi trade delegation visited SEZAD and Duqm port on 15th October to examine the current projects and incentives for investors.