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Oman oil and gas exploration and production company, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has reportedly signed a contract with the Oman Engineering Procurement & Construction (OmEPC) to boost engineering in the country.

According to the Sultanate’s state-run news agency, Oman News Agency, the contract outlines a joint partnership between the four Omani SMEs that form OmPEC; Value Engineering Centre (VEC), Hamad Engineering Services (HES), Precision Engineering Consultancy (PEC) and Rock International.

The contract for Phase 1, which is valued at $25.9m (RO10m), was signed at PDO’s Knowledge World centre in Muscat by the company’s managing director, Raoul Restucci and chairman of OmEPC, Mohammed Al Said, representing the four-company partnership.

The Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract is structured in three phases.

Phase 1 of the contract spans over three years and covers engineering services. Upon successful delivery, it will then be expanded to cover both engineering and procurement for a further three years; construction management will be added at the end of the sixth year.

The latest development in the oil and gas industry’s In-Country Value (ICV) strategy, the contract is indicative of PDO’s support of Oman’s ICV initiative.

In addition, it is also indicative of PDO’s support of efforts in job creation and training as well as providing commercial and investment opportunities for local businesses, the report stated.

The Sultanate’s ICV blueprint strategy was launched in December 2013.

PDO defines ICV as ‘the total spend retained in country that benefits business development, contributes to human capability development and stimulates productivity in Oman’s economy.’

Commenting on the contract, Restucci said: “This is an important EPC contract for PDO as it will provide services for our business in key areas, utilising a skilled Omani workforce and providing opportunities for emerging local businesses in supporting their development.”

“It is a further example of our long-term contribution and commitment to ICV in the Sultanate, creating jobs for Omani people by localising the supply chain,” he added.

Speaking about the joint partnership, Al Said, said: “OmEPC is a result of continuous ICV efforts by PDO to create meaningful employment for Omanis. With this contract, PDO has granted OmEPC an opening not only for employment of Omanis, but also development and growth of local EPC capabilities and capacity beyond the boundaries of PDO’s operations.”