Two water projects tendered by Oman’s Majis Industrial Services in Sohar Industrial Port Area are on hold and waiting for approval from the government, according to Salim al-Mamary, planning and projects manager for Majis, speaking at MEED’s Oman Projects Conference on 26 October.

The government has delayed the desalination and industrial water projects due to lower oil prices.

Bids have been evaluated and Majis is ready to award the contracts as soon as they are approved. Majis will receive a decision from Oman Oil Company on its Sohar desalination and industrial waste water plant in June 2016.

The construction of the industrial wastewater treatment plant, to improve the efficiency of water recycling at Sohar industrial hub, will depend on demand from industrial projects there.

“We have large demand from our clients but the decision comes from above,” says Al-Mamary. “We planned this investment as our plants should be ready for industrial projects.”

Oman is focusing on manufacturing as a key element of its diversification strategy. Sohar industrial area is one of the main areas established for industrial projects.

A consortium of India’s VA Tech Wabag, the local Bahwan Contracting Company and Norway’s Aqualyng submitted the lowest price for the 28,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d) desalination plant in late 2014.

The industrial wastewater plant will have a capacity of 12,000 cm/d.

Majis and the selected developer will seek commercial bank financing for the project. It has approached local banks, primarily the National Bank of Oman.

Majis could build another five industrial wastewater plants in various parts of Sohar industrial hub, including Sohar Industrial Estate, depending on demand and the 2016-2020 five-year plan. They will range in size from 3 to 10 million imperial gallons a day, and aim to treat water to a standard of 25ppm DS, to reuse 90-95 per cent of the water.