Deal inked for new tuna and sardine canning complex in Oman
Fisheries Development Oman (FDO), a joint-stock company and subsidiary of Oman Investment Authority, has signed a construction contract with a local company for the development of a tuna and sardine canning complex slated to commence operations in 2024.
FDO, through its affiliate firm, International Seafood Company, signed the RO 14 million (USD 36.2 million EUR 33.7 million) deal with Al Hajiry Projects for the complex, which will process an estimated 30,000 metric tons (MT) of seafood annually.
Al Hajiry will construct the tuna and sardine factory at the Fisheries Industries Zone in Duqm near to an upcoming fisheries port. The project is expected to support the Sultanate of Oman’s long-term drive to diversify its manufacturing sector and variety of exports under the country’s Vision 2040.
With the recent development of Oman’s marine fishing fleet and the easing of fishing pressure in neighboring countries, the Sultanate has reported increased production of both tuna and sardines – hence the appetite for new facilities to add value to fish harvests and expand the nation’s seafood processing capacity.
In 2020, Oman, a member of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), reported a sardine output of 430,130 MT, the largest artisanal fishing catch in 2020, representing 54.1 percent of the country’s total fish output.
Sardine production was far ahead of yellowfin tuna caught in the same year, reaching an estimated 68,578 MT, the equivalent of 8.6 percent of the Sultanate’s catch for 2020.
Overall, Oman’s total fish output for 2020 was on the upsurge compared to 2019, increasing by 44.8 percent to 840,378 MT.
The proposed tuna and sardine canning complex is one of FDO’s latest investment ventures, building on the company’s previous involvement in fisheries and fish farming projects, including shrimp farming as well as finfish, shellfish, and seaweed ventures. FDO also has interest in the establishment of upstream and downstream fisheries’ support industries, including hatcheries and feed factories.
Once completed and commissioned, the canning complex is expected to help Oman scale back its reliance on the oil sector. The country is investing in several key sectors – agriculture and fisheries, logistics and transport, energy and mining, and tourism – as a means to find alternative sources of national revenue beyond oil.
Photo courtesy of FAO