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Sat 11 Nov 2017 09:28 AM

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Oman set to privatise waste management sector

Be'ah close to completing transfer of waste operations across sultanate to international operators

Oman set to privatise waste management sector

Oman is planning to fully privatise its waste management sector, with major reforms nearing completion.

The Oman Environmental Services Holding Company, also known as Be’ah, said it is close to completing the transfer of waste management operations in each of its 11 governorates to international operators.

The move is part of plans to modernise and restructure the handling, treatment and disposal of municipal solid waste and expand the country’s capacity for recycling and waste-based energy generation, according to a report by Oxford Business Group.

Companies awarded contracts include Spain’s Urbasar, Dubai-headquartered Averda, and a joint venture between Oman’s Al Ramooz and France’s Veolia.

Details of the two biggest contracts – for operations in Muscat – are still to be announced.

Part of the handover process includes a move by Be’ah to permanently close all of the country’s 317 dumpsites, which have been deemed environmentally and hygienically unsuitable.

They will then be replaced by 10-11 engineered landfill sites and 18-25 transfer stations.  Over 220 dumpsites have been closed with the remainder set for closure by early 2019, said Mohammed Sulaiman Al Harthy, executive vice-president for strategic development at Be’ah.

He said that in the longer term, Oman is pursuing a range of approaches to waste processing. Studies are being carried out for a number of programmes, including waste-to-energy and biogas projects.

In terms of recycling, a two-bin recycling system will be implemented nationwide following the completion of the deployment of operations and the formal handover of services from the public sector to Be’ah, which is expected to be completed in the next few years.