Oman plans to spend $2.4bn on developing new projects in 2010, according to the National Economy Minister and Finance Minister Ahmad Mekki.

The projects will be focused on water desalination plants, schools, roads and hospitals as the government aims to create jobs for around 4,000 Omani nationals through the developments.

At present, eight consortiums are bidding to build the Barka 3 and Sohar 2 independent power plants in Oman, which is the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company’s (OPWP) latest projects to increase power generation in the country and one of the Sultunate’s largest construction projects.

In addition to the $2.4bn, the government plans to spend RO1.45bn ($3.77bn) on oil and gas production in 2010.

Mekki has also forecast that Oman’s economy will grow by 6.1 per cent in 2010 in real terms due to higher oil revenues from increased production, and inflation for the year would be around 3.5 per cent. The budget deficit in 2009 was around RO722m ($1.88bn).