The Duqm Industrial Fisheries Port has kick-started temporary operations, while actively developing a plan for the future, according to Nabil al Bimani, CEO of Fisheries Development Oman (FDO), lead partner in the consortium overseeing the operation of the facility in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Duqm.

“The full project will include a research and design centre, a training centre, a government [services] building, and a fish market,” he shared.

“The fish market will include an auction system, in addition to a fishery village that will serve artisan fishermen,” he stated.

The Duqm multipurpose port was built by the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD), and is going to be operated by a consortium of companies including Fisheries Development Company (FDO), Oman Food Investment Company and the French port of Lorient.

Al Bimani also confirmed that the seafood canning plant by FDO’s subsidiary, International Seafood Company, is proceeding as planned.

The plant, which has a capacity of 100 million cans per year, is expected to operate within the first quarter of 2024.

Concerning the remaining port facilities, Al Bimani said, "We are targeting to award the full development by early next year," adding that the project will be completed within 18 to 24 months from the award.

Importantly, the fisheries port project will also focus on providing local SMEs with opportunities within the fishery industry, according to Al Bimani.

Speaking to the Observer, Al Bimani shared that the company signed six agreements with local SMEs to provide port services worth over RO 8 million last week.

“Developing SMEs is one of the crucial things that we're working on, and it's one of the focus areas that we would like to continue [focusing on],” shared Al Bimani.

Additionally, the company intends to encourage SMEs to participate in the port's main operations. “The plan is that we also engage undeveloped SMEs to take part of the core scope of the port’s operations. Whether it's within the fishery side or the industrial side.” It is worth noting that the Special Economic Zone mandates the allocation of 10 per cent of business and project tenders to local SMEs.

“The consortium is committed to offload this scope to the SMEs, plus also to take their hands and develop them to the acceptable level expected for this sector,” he added.

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