Muscat: Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has committed to support a host of new initiatives to benefit communities and boost sustainable development across the Sultanate.
The programme includes commitments in the key areas of health, safety and the environment, community infrastructure development as well as youth and women empowerment all of which are fully aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Ten Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) confirming these commitments were signed at an official ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Qurum, Muscat on Sunday.
The package includes the backing of a new dairy factory in Taqah, which will be constructed to support women working under the umbrella of the PDO-backed Banat Oman initiative. This will enable them to meet high market demand for their products, including export opportunities to the regional market, and sustain and grow their current sales.
Among the range of infrastructure commitments, PDO is funding a new fish market in Bahla as part of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries fish markets rollout plan across the Sultanate. The 1,000m2 facility, which will contain an ice factory with an estimated production of five tonnes of ice per day, will boost the fisheries industry in the area and create around 50 employment opportunities.
Sheikh Ali bin Mansour bin Nasser Al Busaidi,Wali of Bahla, said: “I would like to thank PDO for funding the construction of this modern facility and sponsoring other social responsibility projects which have had a positive impact on the community.”
“There is no doubt that this market will serve locals by creating job opportunities and providing fresh fish and seafood,” he added.
The company is also stepping up its community health efforts by providing a new CT scan machine to Haima Hospital and funding the construction of related facilities such as waiting and preparation rooms which will improve the medical diagnosis and minimise current CT scan referrals.
PDO Managing Director Raoul Restucci said: “Our commitment and support is targeted at meeting pressing community needs through the provision of important facilities and services to support in areas such as health and employment.”
“We only succeed if the communities in which we operate succeed, and these programmes will no doubt empower citizens and contribute to the sustainable development of Omani communities,” he added.
“We are delighted to be able to sign these latest commitments which will make a tangible difference to the lives of thousands of people across Oman with our valued government, municipal and non-governmental partners,” Restucci said.
The company will also support the construction of a passenger building in Juzur Al Hallaniyat airport as the existing runway on the island, which is mostly used by the Royal Air Force, does not have one.
Other infrastructure pledges include the construction of Reverse Osmosis plants in Qatbeet/Sadhoon and another in Wadi Arah, which have been designed to meet the current and future potable water demand of the local population, and the replacement of a damaged five-kilometre long water pipe from Shaleem to Wadi Hakka.
In addition, two buses will be provided for the Omani Women Association in Haima and Al Jazir, and a third for Al Wusta Club for youth to support these organisations in their activities.
The MoUs confirming these commitments were signed by Restucci and senior government officials, including Darwish bin Saif Al Maharbi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for Administrative and Financial Affairs; Mohammed bin Saif Al Busaidi, Wali of Taqa; Mohammed bin Tahir Alawi Ba Omar, Wali of Shalim and Juzur Al Hallaniyat Islands; and Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Mahrooqi, Director General for Planning and Studies at the Ministry of Social Development.