Qatar Primary Materials Company has invited companies to express interest by mid-September in building quarry and port facilities in Oman as it seeks to develop new sources of aggregate for use in construction projects.

Securing aggregate has been a primary concern for contractors working in Qatar for some time. The issue has been amplified further in recent months following the trade embargo imposed on Qatar by states including the UAE, which traditionally has been one of the main sources of aggregate for projects in Qatar.

To help develop new sources of aggregate, QPMC is developing a 3 million tonne a-year gabbro quarry at Khatmat Milaha in Oman. It is seeking firms to engineer, supply, install, construct and operate facilities including: crushing and screening facilities for 3 mt/y of gabbro, expandable up to 7mt/y, and capable of producing four grades of gabbro; mobile equipment for mining; 140,000 square metres of storage areas, associated infrastructure such as roads; the provision of utilities such as power, warer, drainage, fire fighting, and telecommunications; the construction of a 1,450 metre-long causeway capable of accommodating 12,000 tonne barges or a 2,000 metre barge capable of accommodating 35,000 tonne barges; and two years of operation and maintenance.

The Omani quarry project has been planned for a number of years. In 2015, QPMC signed an agreement with Belgian firm Rent-A-Port to start work on the Khatmat Milaha quarry project.

Rent-A-Port was the consultant for QPMC’s gabbro port in Qatar. A joint venture of Denmark’s FLSmidth and Sixco completed the estimated QR1.6bn ($430m) contract to build the aggregate berths earlier this year.