Oman allies with OPEC to become a major regional logistics hub

Alsharqiya Expressway Tunnels Project is one of several high-profile projects conceived to development in Oman

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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OPEC Forecast
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The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the Sultanate of Oman has entered into a new strategic partnership to further accelerate development in line with the country’s ambitions to become a significant regional logistics hub.

The first joint project, the Alsharqiya Expressway Tunnels Project, is already under construction to develop connectivity linking the north and eastern regions of the country. The project is co-funded by a $130 million OPEC Fund public sector loan and the Sultanate’s government proceeds.

The project aligns with Oman’s plans to improve the transportation sector to bolster its credentials as a regional logistics hub: the Alsharqiya Expressway Tunnels Project is just one in a list of new investments with this purpose in mind and the OPEC Fund stands ready to contribute additional support.

As part of the project, two ‘twin-tube’ tunnels have been built with a combined length of around four kilometers. The tunnels safely circumvent a critical floodplain, a major town and an area prone to landslides. The ultimate aim is to offer better access to jobs, markets and public services.

Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa
Director-General – OPEC Fund

“We are delighted to launch a major development partnership with the Sultanate of Oman. It is befitting to mark the beginning of our cooperation with such a landmark project that includes the first-ever tunnels in the country and provides safer travel for over one million people. We look forward to building our partnership and working on many more development projects together.”

The project is in line with several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including SDG 9 on the industry, innovation and infrastructure, and SDG 8 on decent work and economic growth. In addition, agriculture and tourism, two important sources of income-generation in the region, will also be strengthened.

OFID was instituted in January 1976 with 13 member countries of OPEC; including the United Arab Emirates. It is the development finance institution founded as a medium of support to developing nations.