Mines identified for Duqm cement project

(Oman)  —  The plan to build a multi-million rial cement plant in Oman’s northern city of Al Duqm is under progress, with the promoters of the project identifying mines for its main raw material limestone in the area.

Limestone is found in abundance around Duqm port and an extensive geological mapping has identified two main areas, Al Safiya and Al Hydaybah, with abundant quantities of high quality limestone.

The Al Safiya area is located 15 kilometres west of the port and is primarily intended for the cement industry. In the Al Hydaybah area, 15-to-20 kilometres south of the port, thick layers of white limestone are present with potential for lime production.

The Duqm cement project will be promoted by a well established Omani firm, which will carry out exports through Duqm port.

The project will have an envisaged production capacity of 3-4 million tonnes of cement per annum. The project aims to meet the additional demand of cement arising from major government-supported infrastructure projects and other construction activities.

Presently, the two cement producers in the country Raysut Cement and Oman Cement have a combined capacity of 4.7 million tonnes of cement per annum.

However, if the capacity of Raysut’s Ras Al Khaima-based Pioneer Cement Industries is included, the total installed capacity is around 6.4 million tonnes per annum.

Oman Gas Company (OGC) has also completed a feasibility study to build a 230-kilometre-long pipeline to transport natural gas to projects in Duqm from Saih Al Nihayda in central Oman, which is mainly aimed at supplying gas to the proposed cement plant and other major projects coming up there.

The 36-inch pipeline will have a capacity of roughly 25 million cubic metres per day to fuel Duqm’s future industrial and power generation needs and projected to be accomplished during 2015-2016 period.

By: Rashmi Kalia (ARI-C NEWS)

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