The project aims to produce 4,000 tonnes of shrimp a year, including giant tiger shrimp and Indian white shrimp, according to Djames Lim, CEO of Singapore-based Lim Shrimp Organization and the main project co-ordinator, quoted in Muscat Daily.
The farm will also produce 2,000 tonnes of sea cucumber annually, along with unspecified quantities of oyster and other bivalves when operational. It will be based at Ras Jibsh on Oman’s Arabian Sea coast, around 300km south of Muscat.
China Wuyi will be the main contractor on Qurun Aquapolis, and announced the value of its contract as US$69m to build out the 500-hectare site. The project is a joint venture between Arabian Marine Development, Bank Sohar, and the Lim Shrimp Organization.
“This farm will be a self-contained facility with desalination plant, processing plant, cold storage, waste water treatment, incinerator plant for rubbish, feed mills, hatchery for shrimp and sea cucumber, staff housing, executive housing, administrative centre, social facilities, sport centre, religious facilities, and other supporting amenities,” said a statement from China Wuyi.
The Qurun Aquapolis project will bring a major boost to Oman’s aquaculture output, which stood at 353 tonnes as of last year, according to Muscat Daily.
Oman’s fishy investments
Oman has been investing heavily in aquaculture and fishery projects recently, and is opening up the sector to a large number of new projects. In March the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries issued 19 new licences to aquaculture investors, and estimated the projects to be worth more than US$330m.
In total the Ministry said it was looking at 31 aquaculture project applications, worth more than US$380m. It was not clear whether this number included the 19 approved applications.
Earlier this year the Omani government announced plans to invest US$1.3bn in fisheries, with the aim of increasing the fisheries’ contribution to the Omani economy to US$1.9bn annually, from the current US$960,000.
“The objective of the National Fisheries Development Strategy is to enhance the fisheries sector's contribution to the GDP as well as generate employment opportunities for Omanis. Our aim is to boost fisheries production from the present roughly 200,000 tonnes per year to around 480,000 tonnes by 2020, as well as to generate 20,000 additional jobs during this period,” said Dr Hamed Al Aufi, under-secretary for fisheries wealth, speaking at the Oman Economic Forum earlier in the year.