MEDRC launches programme to train 60 Omanis in desal technology

Muscat - 

Sixty Omanis will be trained to work at desalination plants under a new programme launched by the Middle East Desalination Research Centre (MEDRC) on Monday. The programme called Tahlya (Arabic for desalination) is funded by BP Oman.

Three batches of 20 people, aged 20-28, will be trained throughout the year with instruction in classrooms at the centre as well as on-site, with the first course scheduled to begin later this month and the last to conclude in November.

The trainees are split among both supervisor and operator levels. They will be qualified to work at reverse osmosis desalination plants across the country.

The official launch took place at MEDRC’s headquarters with the participation of Sayyid Badr al Busaidi, secretary general in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and chairman of MEDRC’s executive council, and other officials.

“MEDRC is proud to partner with BP Oman in delivering this unique initiative. Water is a strategic issue in Oman and therefore, we believe that the water sector at every level can be led, managed and operated by Omani nationals. Working with BP Oman, we are taking an important step towards that goal,” said MEDRC director Ciarán O Cuinn. MEDRC officials said there will be an increasing demand for workers as new plants are built around the country. By 2020, Oman will have ten large-scale plants requiring 160 supervisors and 452 operators. Those will be producing 1.7mn m3/day of desalinated water.

The programme received 4,500 applications which was narrowed down to 400 for an aptitude test and 100 for an interview before the final 60 were chosen.

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