Oman Rail is studying plans for a 375km train line to transport minerals between the Shweimiyah area in Dhofar Governorate and Port Duqm, the kingdom’s transport ministry has confirmed.
Minister of transport and communications Mohammed Al-Futtaisi told the sultanate’s Shoura Council on Sunday that the “metal line” would transport materials like gypsum and limestone.
A study is currently underway by the General Authority for Mining and Oman Metals Development Company to determine the amount of materials available in the region and ensure the rail line is economically feasible.
Once this is proven, Oman Rail will begin work on the line.
Al-Futtaisi said the line would be “interoperable” with a planned rail network connecting the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and could help develop infrastructure in areas linked to it.
However, the transport ministry also emphasised that the GCC network was “proceeding at a slow pace” and the country’s commitment depended on the “readiness of the GCC countries”.
The UAE’s Etihad Rail suspended the tender process for the second phase of its network that would have connected with the Saudi and Oman borders in January 2016.
This prompted Oman Rail to turn its focus to internal projects like linking key ports and mines.