Jul 15 2012
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Regional investors eye avenues in Duqm SEZ
"We have been interested in the vision that has evolved around the industrial city of Duqm," Toony said. "The projections of the realisation of such a dream here will create many opportunities. We've seen the master plan, and we know of the ambitious scale of the development. For example, the realisation of the dry dock (project) is a major step in the establishment of an industrial city in Duqm, and we see that as a major credit to the vision of His Majesty the Sultan, and as a major credit to the industrial plans of Oman," he added in comments to the Observer.
The consultant, who describes himself as an 'Implementation Planner', is credited with helping prepared the groundwork on behalf of investors behind the development of a number of large-scale ventures in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. "We worked on the implementation planning for the Jizan refinery in Saudi Arabia, the feasibility and implementation plan for the hydrocracker in Bahrain, the establishment of petrochemical processing plants in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and so on. We were involved either in a central and peripheral role, both from the developers' side and from the construction/implementation side."
Explaining the role he currently plays as the interface between investors and the Duqm SEZ Authority, Toony said: "I represent a group of investors who look to me as a consultant or guide (for their investment). I worked earlier with the American company Bechtel, 3D Global Solutions, Mohamed al Mojil Group, Saudi Construction Co, and so on.
Toony said he had held a number of meetings with officials of the SEZ Authority to discuss investment opportunities on behalf of his clients. "We outlined to the people concerned our vision, interests and capabilities. Our vision is holistic and supportive of the development process in the (Duqm) zone. Their response was extremely positive and supportive of our desire to come here."
Toony declined to identify specific projects of interest to his clients, citing the confidential nature of these plans at the present junction. However, one area being keenly explored is utilities and services. "At the moment, the first step is in community development, which is utilities and services. So that's where we're going first," he said.
At the same time, Toony stressed that his focus was on the "broad picture" of investment opportunities within the SEZ. "I'm looking at the broad picture, not specific projects. We had an initial presentation of our vision to the Duqm (SEZ Authority). We are looking for the appropriate permitting to take that forward.
We are looking to comply with the dictates and requirements of Omani law to establish the current legal performing parties so that they can carry this vision forward. So there are many steps that have to be implemented. We are not spreading ourselves so thin as not to be effective, but we taking it step by step."
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