Foundation stone laying ceremony to build the Sultanate’s first bus assembly unit, which will have an initial capacity to assemble 1,000 buses per year, will be held on Thursday.
The new project is a strategic partnership between Qatar Transport, the national transport company in Qatar that owns 70 per cent stake of the company, and Oman Investment Fund, according to a press release.
Oman Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund in the Sultanate, owns 30 per cent of the stake. The two parties will invest about $90 million in the first phase of the project, which has the potential to become an active hub for the bus industry in Duqm.
The initial capacity of the plant is to produce 1,000 buses per year and up to 3,000 buses at the peak capacity of the plant, following the gradual expansion of the project based on market demand.
Under the patronage of Yahya bin Said Al Jabri, Chairman of the Special Economic Zone Authority of Duqm, a ceremony will be held to mark the laying of the foundation stone for the bus manufacturing project in Duqm Special Economic Zone on November 30, 2017 in the presence of undersecretaries, ambassadors and representatives of the companies partnering in the project.
The laying of the foundation stone is a milestone in the implementation of a historic initiative to build the first bus assembly plant in the Sultanate as a strategic investment by the governments of Oman and Qatar.
The assembly project is designed to produce coach and city buses, including civil buses and school buses to meet the local and regional market needs. It will allow Karwa Motors to sell its buses in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region with greater flexibility while prioritising Omani and Qatari markets. Demand for buses around the world is on the rise and this production will grow to supply the regional bus requirement’s increasing demand.
The project will be built on an area of 220,000 square metres in its first phase, employing 200 employees and workers in the first phase alone, which is expected to double as the project expands. It will also contribute to development research, manufacturing spare parts, design and international marketing departments.