Oman has signed contracts with an Indian company and a European-Japanese consortium to build two gas pipelines by the second half of 2002 at a total cost of 304 million dollars, the Oman Gas Company (OGC) said Tuesday.
The two pipelines -- running from central Oman to Sohar on the coast north of Muscat, and from the northwest to the southern port city of Salalah -- will be completed within two years, OGC said.
The Indian company Dodsal signed a contract for the construction of the 700-kilometre (420-mile) Salalah line at a cost of 180 million dollars.
Saipem and Snamprogetti of Italy with Athens-based Consolidated Contractors International Company and Mitsubishi signed a contract for the 305-kilometre (185-mile) Sohar line worth another 124 million dollars.
Work on both pipelines is expected to start work in late 2000.
The northern pipeline is to supply feedstock for a planned aluminium smelter and petrochemical plant in Sohar as well as power plants. As part of Oman's gas-powered industrialisation drive, a 200-megawatt power plant is also planned in Salalah.
An official with OGC, a state company set up to supervise the projects, said in April that the Omani government would seek 90 percent of the financing in loans from local and international banks.
Oman's gas reserves were officially set at 850 billion cubic metres (nearly 30 trillion cubic feet) last year and the sultanate started to export liquefied natural gas on April 6 in a drive to reduce dependence on oil revenues. – (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )