An official delegation from Karwa Motors and Semac Oman recently received the general layout and final process design of the new Karwa Motors plant, at an event held in Suzhou, China.
The handover ceremony was attended by Jassim al-Khayat and Salim al-Waheibi, board members of Karwa Motors, Huang Shuping, managing director of Higer Bus Company, Liu Shixin, general manager of MMI Planning Institute IX Ltd, and Solomon Moses, general manager of local consultant Semac Oman.
Karwa Motors LLC is a joint strategic collaboration between Qatar and Oman, represented by Mowasalat, Qatar's national transport provider (owning 70% of Karwa Motors’ shares), and Oman Investment Fund, which is a sovereign wealth fund in Oman (owning the remaining 30% shares).
The groundbreaking ceremony of the project was held on November 30, 2017 during which the official website of Karwa Motors was also launched.
The two parties will invest about $90mn in the first phase of the project, which has the ability to become an automotive-based manufacturing cluster in Duqm over the long term, according to a press statement.
The project has made "rapid progress in the last few months", including the appointment of all major stakeholders, namely the Chinese Higer Bus Company as technology partner, MMI Design Institute as process design consultant and Semac Oman as civil design consultant.
The greenfield project will come up on a 500,000sqm site located not far from a world-scale multipurpose port currently being developed at Duqm, which will be the "first of its kind" in Oman.
The plant is initially planned for a production capacity of 1,000 buses a year, utilising 220,000sqm of land, which can increase to up to 3,000 buses per annum in a phased expansion based on market demand.
The "state-of-the-art facility" will be initially equipped for assembly of buses and coaches.