200 buses expected to be made at Karwa Motors plant in 2021
The first ‘Made in Oman’ buses will start rolling out from the Karwa Motors’ plant in Special Economic Zone at Duqm soon with at least 200 buses expected to be made in 2021.
The company will initially assemble buses for school transport and gradually start making coaches for city use and long routes.
According to Dr Ibrahim bin Ali al Balushi, CEO of Karwa Motors, production capacity of the factory in its first stage will be 500 buses annually, which will be increased to 700 in the second phase.
The factory is one of the strategic investment partnerships between the sultanate and Qatar through the contribution of the Oman Investment Authority – 30 per cent and Mowasalat Qatar (the national transport company of Qatar) 70 per cent.
Semac Oman, the local subsidiary of prominent Indian multidisciplinary design and engineering consultancy Semac Consultants, is the main consultant for civil designs, while China’s MMI Planning & Engineering Institute is the main consultant for factory design and operations. Leading Chinese bus-maker Higer is the technology partner and supplier of completely knocked down units for the project.
Production of the bus bearing the trademark ‘Karwa’ and ‘Made in Oman’, Balushi noted, is no small feat, explaining that the factory has 40 internal workstations. “The product is given shape after passing through these workstations; only then is it ready for delivery.”
He stressed that the company is focusing on making distinctive and sturdy buses for all terrain that withstand the harshest weather conditions.
The factory includes three main workshops – a cutting and welding workshop, a dyeing workshop, and equipment and motor assembly workshop. Once engineers confirm that a bus is ready, its capabilities are tested in a designated inspection yard.
The project site also includes a repair workshop, a secondary power station, a refrigeration equipment room, a fuel station, and an administration building.
Balushi has been quoted saying the project will contribute to revitalising economic activities in Special Economic Zone at Duqm.