Oman: Duqm quarry sites identified

Oman: Duqm quarry sites identified
Published: 13 November 2012


Plans to build a multi-million rial cement plant in Oman's northern city of Al Duqm is progressing, with the promoters started identifying potential limestone quarry sites.

The raw material is abundant around Duqm port and an extensive geological mapping has identified two main areas with nearly timeless quantities of high quality limestone. The Al Safiya area is located 15km west of the port and is primarily intended for the cement industry. In the Al Hydaybah area, 15-to-20km south of the port, thick layers of white limestone exist.

The grass root project, which will have an envisaged cement capacity of 3-4Mta, is aimed at improving the industry's ability to meet additional demand arising from major government-supported infrastructure projects and other construction activities.

Sources said that the Duqm cement project will be promoted by a well established 100 per cent Omani firm, which will carry out exports through Duqm port. "It is going to be a very big project. The cement plant will be set up in coordination with the port," said a source. "The limestone deposits are within the greater Duqm area, which is a great advantage for the company," added the source.

In fact, Oman Gas Company (OGC) has completed feasibility study to build a 230km-long pipeline to transport natural gas to projects in Duqm from Saih Al Nihayda in central Oman, which is mainly aimed at supplying gas to the proposed cement plant and other major projects coming up there.

Presently, the two largest cement producers in the country Raysut Cement and Oman Cement  have a combined capacity of 7.3Mta of cement. The third cement producer in Oman is Al Burami Group that operates the 0.75Mta Al Madina cement plant at Wadi Saa.

Both Raysut Cement and Oman Cement expect a robust growth in demand for cement, approximately in the region of 7-8 per cent this year. Raysut Cement said that Oman's construction industry is on positive progression with the industry value expected to grow to a level of over US$5bn from under US$4bn in next three to four years at an average growth rate of about 6%.

Keeping in pace with the growth in construction segment, prices of cement are slowly moving up in cement industry, but dumping of the UAE producers is still haunting the local firms.