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Oman Oil vertical acquires stake in Duqm utilities developer

Sembcorp Industries, a Singapore-based conglomerate of energy, water, marine and urban development businesses, has announced that its Oman subsidiary has agreed to sell its stake in the Centralised Utilities Company (CUC), a utilities developer, to Oman Oil Facilities Development Company, one of the verticals of the restructured wholly government-owned Oman Oil Company.

The Group said in a filing with the Singapore Exchange last week that Sembcorp Utilities (Oman) has consequently exited from CUC, a joint venture established with Takamul Investment Company (part of Oman Oil Company) to provide utilities and related services to industries operating within the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Duqm.

“Sembcorp Utilities (Oman) will sell and transfer its entire stake, comprising 877,950 ordinary shares in CUC to Oman Oil Facilities Development Company, a subsidiary of Oman Oil Company, for RO 984,740 (approximately S$3.3 million),” the Group said in the stock exchange filing. Legal completion of the sale and transfer is expected to take place within 30 days, Sembcorp Industries added.

Sembcorp’s departure from the joint venture comes nearly five years since the establishment of CUC in June 2013 as a 35:65 partnership with Takamul of Oman Oil Company. Since rebranded as Marafiq, CUC’s mandate is to invest in centralised utilities, such as cooling water, potable water, electricity, natural gas, industrial gases, and waste water management, among other services.

To this end, CUC had signed a 25-year utilities service agreement with the Special Economic Zone Authority of Duqm (SEZAD) granting it exclusive rights to provide various utilities and industrial gases to industries operating at the SEZ.

The company is presently developing a power plant and a cooling water intake system to serve the $7 billion Duqm Refinery project in which its parent organisation, Oman Oil Company, has a 50 per cent equity interest. Marafiq’s vision is to become a one-stop provider of a full range of centralised utilities to industries at competitive tariffs – an approach that will spare local investors the need to invest in utility infrastructure of their own.

Among its major investments in the SEZ is an Integrated Power and Water Project (DIPWP) featuring a combination of electricity generation and water desalination components as well as a seawater intake system. The complex includes a gas-fired 300 MW combined cycle power plant integrated with a 1,500 cubic metres per hour seawater reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plant.

Construction is also under way on a new Service Corridor between Duqm Refinery and the Liquid Jetty under development at the nearby Port of Duqm. The Service Corridor will house all of the product pipelines that will carry refined products and petrochemicals from the refinery to the jetty for export. Marafiq will operate and manage the Service Corridor.

Additionally, Marafiq is developing a potable water supply and distribution business at Duqm. The service, centring on the reliable and cost-effective supply of potable water, is primarily targeted at industrial customers and new investors.
  • Sembcorp Industries
  • CUC
  • Oman Oil Company
  • Duqm
  • SEZAD
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