The exhibition focusing on in-country value (ICV) opportunities offered by Duqm Refinery was held at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Center on 30 September and 1 October 2018. The business and training opportunities for SMEs and young Omanis are in line with national objectives of prioritising opportunities that would arise from construction work of the project to be dedicated to growing local businesses and upgrade the skill levels of youth. The exhibition in Muscat was a follow-up to a similar forum organised in Duqm a week ago.
Salim bin Nasser Al Aufi, undersecretary, Ministry of Oil and Gas, Sultanate of Oman, hailed the positive role played by Duqm Refinery in the local community, and the positive feedback on the ICV forum held the week before in Duqm Crowne Plaza, which lasted for three days.
“Duqm Refinery is the starting point for lot of other industries. It is the biggest industrial project under execution at the moment in Duqm. It is the catalyst for many other projects needed in the future. Duqm Refinery is driving lot of processes with regards to in-country value – localisation of the materials sourced and services provided. It is also a catalyst for the future petrochemical project that is integrated with the Duqm Refinery,” Al Aufi stated.
“In-country value is an absolutely critical initiative for the Sultanate. It is the direction that the oil and gas sector have adopted in the past, and the rest of the country is now embracing it. It is a mechanism by which we will retain lot of activities locally. And, we will be able to retain lot of industries locally,” commented Al Aufi.
“We try to identify the materials needed for various projects and, if it possible, those materials could be sourced from the local market, or if it not available today in the local market, then industries are created in order to supply those materials,” Al Aufi remarked.
“We encourage the investors not only to rely on the local market but also use the local market as a platform to start from, and look then around, and go beyond the borders of Oman. Many of them have already started doing that – they start locally; then they start embarking on international projects and they use the local experience to sell their know-how,” revealed Al Aufi.
Developing local human capital and SMEs
“Duqm Refinery in-country value programme comes as part of the attention given by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said to develop local human capital and local SMEs as two of the main pillars to build strong economy in the Sultanate. Also, the programme aims at showcasing the opportunities for Omani youth so that they can compete on the ones that fit their specialisations and future aspirations,” Al Aufi pointed out.
“In-country value programme plays an important role in further strengthening the national economy by providing the chance for SMEs to contribute on building mega projects. These programmes also prepare national manpower to work in the major economic projects in the country as one of the main factors for its success,” opined Al Aufi.
Jacobus Nieuwenhuijze, project director, Duqm Refinery, stated: “We are glad to announce the promising opportunities this project will offer to the governorate and the whole country. During construction, the project will contribute in creating training and development opportunities that will make a positive economic and social impact in the Sultanate.”
Nieuwenhuijze added: “The programme will also contribute in spreading social welfare through embracing technical graduates from higher education institutions. Taking part in the development of Special Economic Zone of Duqm is an important objective of our campaign as well.”
A challenging project
“It seems that the financing world in very happy with what they have seen us doing. We have done enormous amount of due diligence from the project side; we have also done lot of due diligence on our environmental and social obligations. In-country value initiatives are a part of these obligations. Those due diligences are now complete. It seems that everybody is happy with what we have done in the past and what we are going to do in the future. The financing for the Duqm Refinery project was challenging, but it is done now,” stated Nieuwenhuijze.
“Duqm Refinery is a very good example of cooperation between Oman and Kuwait. And, this is just the first step. We are very carefully looking in to the next step, which will be a petrochemical complex. We have started all kinds of preliminary work on it. This project will start within a short time. The petrochemical complex will complete the vision that we have – first to have the refinery, which can economically stand by itself, to be followed by a petrochemical complex to support the economy,” Nieuwenhuijze emphasised.
Eng. Yousuf bin Mohammed Al Jahdhami, deputy project director, Duqm Refinery, opined: “The wise directives of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said aim at concentrating efforts to develop local small and medium sized enterprises, for their positive impact in creating job opportunities for youth and for their contribution in the local economy. We are proud to launch our in-country value programme, which will create business opportunities for local SMEs through the services and goods required for the project.”
Engineering, procurement and construction
On the details of Duqm Refinery EPC scope of work, Al Jahdhami explained: “Duqm Refinery construction project includes three EPC phases that will be executed at the same time. Each EPC contains a number of opportunities for SMEs, local community contractors and suppliers. To achieve our goals, we have dedicated 10% of the total project value in each EPC for local SMEs, while 20% of the same value is dedicated for local sourcing of goods and services. Also, we have agreed with our contractors to implement 10% of Omanisation at all occupational levels in their companies.”
The Duqm Refinery ICV event in Duqm succeeded in attracting many youngsters who sought business and training opportunities in the project. The Muscat ICV exhibition aimed at reaching wider sections of Omani youth to know more about those opportunities and to meet with the company officials to have a clear image about those opportunities.
Nas-ha’ bint Mohammed Al Falahia, general manager for corporate affairs, Duqm Refinery, stated: “ICV programme is one of the main milestones in our project journey for its role in supporting development efforts in Oman. This support can be seen in the business and training opportunities for Omani youth to prove themselves and to benefit from those opportunities during construction phase and after the operational phases.”
A hub for transformational industries
Al Falahia added: “It is our pleasure to announce the launch of Duqm Refinery ICV programme as an addition to the efforts made to achieve sustainable development in the Special Economic Zone of Duqm. SEZAD is entrusted to become one of the main arteries for the national economy and a hub for petrochemical and transformational industries in the region in the near future. It also represents the cooperation between public and private sectors to attract investments and to boost economy in the Sultanate, as part of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos’ vision to develop the national economy.”
“Scholarship scheme of Duqm Refinery ICV programme will include internal and external scholarship opportunities for students,” Al Falahia declared. The fully funded scholarships will focus on engineering specialisations as they are needed in the local market.
Al Falahia explained: “Our ICV programme offers two types of training. The first one is allocated for high diploma holders. It will be designated for electrical, mechanical, chemical, and operational specialisations. We aim at shaping the skills of those candidates and to prepare them to join economic projects in the Sultanate.”
“The second type of training in our ICV programme is training targeted at high school general diploma holders. These opportunities include training the fields of facility maintenance, welding, electrical and mechanical fields, scaffolding, and managing cranes. After the completion of the training programme, trainees will have the opportunity to practise their newly acquired skills with one of our three EPC contractors,” Al Falahia said.
Sustainability of the project
“We are glad to see the positive interaction from the local community on social media, and we look forward to contribute in the development of Oman’s economy and the Omani youth to become business and industry leaders in the future,” commented Al Falahia.
Jasim bin Hassan Al Ajmi, head of corporate sustainability, Duqm Refinery, commented: “Our ICV programme is one of the key elements in the sustainability of the project, as it will generate business opportunities that will contribute in the progress of the project in the future. The ICV programme will also contribute in shaping and polishing the skills of Omani youth in various fields to empower them to grow in their career path to serve our beloved country, Oman.”
Al Ajmi remarked: “Duqm Refinery project aims at making a positive impact on the lives of the people in Oman. This impact is made by providing training and development opportunities for Omani youth. This will create the ripple effect, which will positively impact other sectors in the governorate of Al Wusta and the whole country.”
A number of public and private institutions took part in the exhibition such as SEZAD, Takatuf Oman, Al Raffd Fund, Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (Riyadah), and the three global EPC contractors for the Duqm Refinery project.
Commencement of construction work
The launch of the programme coincided with the commencement of construction work of the refinery, which is expected to become operational by end of 2022. The Duqm Refinery ICV programme aims at maximising the economic benefits for the local community and businesses during the construction phase.
The programme also aims at increasing the number of its beneficiaries and boosting the economic and social development in Al Wusta and the whole country. Moreover, the programme targets local small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) while promoting local supply chain. The programme will provide opportunities for training, development and employment of Omani youth in a number of technical specialisations needed in the project.
All the opportunities offered under the Duqm Refinery ICV programme are showcased in a dedicated website – www.duqmrefineryicv.om – where students and SMEs can learn more about the opportunities and apply for various programmes.
SME owners who are interested in the business opportunities on offer need to be registered with the Joint Suppliers Registration System (JSRS) of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, Sultanate of Oman, to be eligible to compete on those opportunities.
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