Under the patronage of H E Yahya al Jabri, chairman of the Special Economic Zone Authority at Duqm (SEZAD), the ceremony will be held in the presence of excellencies, undersecretaries, ambassadors and representatives of the companies partnering in the project, according to a press release.
Karwa Motors is a strategic partnership between Qatar’s national transport company Qatar Transport (70 per cent stake) and Oman Investment Fund (30 per cent stake), the sultanate’s sovereign wealth fund. The two parties will invest about US$90mn in the first phase of the project, which has the potential to become an active hub for the bus industry in Duqm.
The laying of the foundation stone is a milestone in the implementation of a historic initiative to build the first bus manufacturing and assembly plant in the sultanate as a strategic investment by the governments of Oman and Qatar.
Initial capacity of the plant is to produce 1,000 buses per year and up to 3,000 buses at the peak capacity of the plant, following the gradual expansion of the plant based on market demand.
The factory is designed to produce coach and city buses including civil buses and school buses to meet the local and regional market needs. It will allow Karwa Motors to sell its buses in the Middle East and North Africa region with greater flexibility while prioritising Omani and Qatari markets.
This production will grow to supply the regional bus requirement’s increasing demand.
The project will be built on an area of 220,000sqm in its first phase, employing 200 employees and workers in the first phase alone, which is expected to double as the project expands. It will also contribute to development research, manufacturing spare parts, design and international marketing departments.