Not just industrial development. In Oman, Maire Tecnimont is developing projects that support the territory in order to create value for local communities.
In 1490, the Arab navigator Ahmed bin Majid al-Najdi, nicknamed “the lion of the seas”, defined Oman as the place where “it is possible to make great business deals and experience wonders unthinkable elsewhere”. In over half a century, Oman has not changed much: controlled by the Portuguese since the early 16th century, it later became the most powerful sultanate of the State of Arabia in the first half of the nineteenth century, finally gaining independence in the 20th century. In 2010, it ranked first on the list of the UNDP (United Nations Development Program) as the country with the greatest economic development in the last 40 years.
Where is Oman located
Overlooking the Indian Ocean, Oman is one of the nations located in the Arabian Peninsula. Bordering with Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Oman owes much of its wealth to the oil and natural gas deposits found underground. The capital of Oman is Muscat (Masqat in Arabic), home to the main port of the country, that has acquired increasing importance in recent years as a stopover on the routes that take goods from the Far East to the West .
In recent years, the government has begun to diversify economic activities, increasingly focusing on the country's industrialization. This has helped to consolidate the growth rate of Oman, which,in fact, is among the countries with the greatest economic development in the world. Tourism is also gaining great importance: tourism to Oman is increasing and the industry’s offers are growing both in quantity and in quality. Tourists are attracted both by the seaside resorts and by the many historic cities, which preserve the traces of the past glories of Oman.
Maire Tecnimont in Oman
In recent years the growth of Oman is also being helped by Maire Tecnimont, called to build a petrochemical complex in the Sohar area, one hundred and fifty kilometers north of the capital Muscat. The Liwa Plastics Industries Complex (LPIC) package 2. LPIC comprises two polyethylene plants and a polypropylene plant for the customer ORPIC (Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company). “This project, launched in 2016, represents an opportunity for the Group to actively participate in the development of local communities,” explains Marco Crivelli, Maire Tecnimont’s Project Director, experienced manager in Middle Eastern countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Serving the community: the commitment of Maire Tecnimont in Oman
In the role of general contractor, Maire Tecnimont’s main goal was generating In-Country value,this translates into choosing to collaborate with local companies, and Omani labor force. Bringing value to local communities - employing local labor, investing in community services and buying local products - is in fact a priority for our Group.
This objective was met by maximizing spending on goods, services and materials produced or supplied by the Omanis. Then constantly involving local SMEs in our supply chain during the construction phase of the plant.
“An important decision we made right from the start - continues Crivelli - is to choose to stay in the forefront, to communicate directly with stakeholders in Oman, without intermediaries. I must say that this approach has been highly appreciated by local institutions, construction companies and suppliers. The idea was to immediately involve the local workers, with training in the field and career prospects, and without giving the impression of a multinational hit-and-run. In parallel, we immediately started working with Omani companies, deciding to form a team of 100% local subcontractors.”
With an immediate focus on long-term value generation, Maire Tecnimont has therefore developed occupational and professional training opportunities for the workforce, with the objective of stimulating the productivity of the territory's economic system. An important function was carried out by the Omani institutions that operate in the field of education and training, whose skills our Group has always been able to count on.
“As mentioned before, from the beginning, we have acted in all directions, in a 360-degree mode; participating in operational meetings with the representatives of the Ministry of Labor and the Environment in Sohar. This proactivity has generated excellent results, stronger relationships and transparent behavior.”
Interventions that favor the recovery and redevelopment of the territory
After the recovery of the Carawan beach in 2017 and the redevelopment of a stretch of coast that allowed residents to regain possession of the Carawan Sea Shore, in April 2018, our Group decided to meet the needs of the community by building a bridge connecting the two parts of the village divided by the Wadi Hala’El Bani Ghaith (“wadi” in Arabic means river) and which are in fact isolated from each other during the rainy season.
Marco Crivelli explains: “After a technical investigation carried out by our Site Engineering team to proceed with the preliminary design of the bridge, numerous meetings with representatives of the local community, and thanks to the support and contribution of the Group sub-contractors involved in the Liwa Plastics project, in September 2018, in the presence of local authorities and ORPIC representatives, the bridge was finally inaugurated. Once again, the productive commitment and the teamwork with our customers and partners have generated important tangible results.”
Relations with Omani non-profit organizations
In Oman, Maire Tecnimont’s commitment continued with agreements with local non-profit organizations. “At the LIWA cultural center, we have created a series of urban works, creating green areas, lighting, parking lots and access roads. Among the initiatives that have led to the integration between different cultures, I want to highlight the days for blood donation (with over 140 donors), the equipment supplied to physiotherapy clinics, initiatives for disabled children (in November, we will organize a mini-Olympics event for them), sports tournaments and soccer matches. Our presence in Oman - concludes Crivelli - is producing results not only in terms of project performance, but also in the creation of positive effects for the territories, meeting the expectations of local communities and supporting concrete sustainability initiatives.”
The Oman & Italy Business Forum
A philosophy based on accountability, which was further consolidated at the Oman & Italy Business Forum, the first Italian economic mission in Oman focused on the LPIC project. Organized by the Italian Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Economic Development, Confindustria and the Italian Foreign Trade Agency, the Forum presented Maire Tecnimont in the role of leader for about 80 companies in our country. In attendance for Oman were the local authorities, the customer ORPIC, the representatives of the Omani Chamber of Commerce, and the representatives of about 300 local companies.
“The workshop - adds the Project Director - was an opportunity to forge relationships with suppliers, with whom we also shared a qualification process. Then, in the following weeks, we personally visited the factory sites of different material production companies, making it easier to develop work opportunities.”
The Forum confirmed the role that the Italian supply chain can play as a driver to increase the competitiveness of the local entrepreneurial fabric. Furthermore, within the framework of the Italian economic mission, the Omani-Italian Friendship Association was officially launched.