The proposed plant in Oman, once ready, will assemble 2,000 buses every year to meet the requirements of local and GCC markets
Muscat: Mowasalat, Qatar's national transport company, yesterday said it is working on a project to establish a large-scale facility to assemble buses in Oman for the Arab and GCC markets, according to a media report.
"This marks a major achievement for us in terms of technology transfer. We will develop more bus models locally as we prepare to establish our assembling and manufacturing unit in Oman," Jassim Saif Al Sulaiti, Mowasalat's chairman and managing director, was quoted as saying by The Peninsula newspaper.
"We will develop two or three new models every year but we have no plans to assemble buses locally on a large scale," he added, on the sidelines of a function to launch the company's first bus that was fully assembled in Qatar by the company's technicians.
'Made in Qatar'
The technical team at the Karwa Services Unit (KSU) assembled the 41-seat 'Made in Qatar' coach from a complete set of imported spare parts.
This is the first of a series of prototypes being developed by Mowasalat as part of its plans to enter bus assembling and manufacturing industry in a big way.
He said that the proposed facility in Oman once ready will assemble 2,000 buses every year to meet the requirements of the local and GCC markets. "We are in the final phase of preparations to establish the facility. We have also plans to enter bus manufacturing industry in a later phase," said Al Sulaiti. Oman Investment Fund (OIF), the sovereign wealth fund of the Sultanate, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Mowasalat to set up a bus manufacturing and assembly unit last year.
The scope of the MoU covered setting up a facility in Oman for the manufacture and assembly of buses and other vehicles in a large plot of land.
He said the locally assembled buses are more cost-effective compared to the imported ones.
The first 'Made in Qatar' bus has joined the fleet of Mowasalat buses that are also available for private hire. Assembled from Complete Knockdown (CKD) units, the new bus offers the same comfort, safety features, stylish looks and versatile body of the currently imported Karwa buses.