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Sultanate’s first 3D concrete printing facility opens in Ghala

27 Jul 2021

The first industrial 3D concrete printing facility in Oman was officially opened by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), InnoTech and Galfar Engineering and Contracting Company on Tuesday at Ghala Industrial Area.

Announcing the inauguration of the new facility, PDO in a tweet said, ‘3D concrete printing is a step change in the construction sector, providing a sustainable alternative to traditional construction method. This technology will also speed up the construction process, reduce waste and empower skilled Omanis.’

PDO said it is supporting the 3D printing initiative by providing its technical expertise, opportunity identification and project management.

‘This facility opening is PDO managing director Steve Phimister’s first opening ceremony since he assumed the role of manging director starting this month,’ the company said.

The project in Ghala Industrial Area comes within the framework of an agreement signed between PDO, InnoTech and Galfar in May 2021 for research and development in 3D printing with concrete in Oman.

The agreement between three Omani companies ultimately aims to print a building using the 3D printing technology, which is considered a step change in the construction sector, providing a sustainable alternative to traditional construction methods.

Eng Othman al Mandhari, founder and CEO of InnoTech, the first Omani company to venture into 3D printing, said the advantage of 3D printing technology is that it reduces costs and labour requirment and is highly reliable and environment-frinedly.

“As an example, a building of 100sqm will take less than a week to be constructed. We hope to start actual work soon,” he said.

The 3D concrete printing represents a qualitative shift in the construction sector as it provides a sustainable alternative to the traditional building method. The project is expected to speed up the construction process in Oman, increase the local added value and boost partnership among private sector institutions.

In order to cope with the world’s modern construction techniques, Oman’s Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ) recently approved the construction by using 3D printing technologies in the sultanate’s economic and freezones.

OPAZ affirmed to promote the new 3D printing techniques in various freezones and in the Special Econoic Zone at Duqm in particular.

Different packages of facilities and incentives will be offered for companies that prefer to use the 3D-printed building technology, with an exemption from the leasing fees for a period of five years, OPAZ said in June.

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