technology

Oman’s first 3D concrete printing facility launched

July 28, 2021

New technology: PDO, Innotech and Galfar jointly develop tech-based construction workshop at Ghala in Muscat

MUSCAT: The Sultanate’s first 3D Concrete Printing Facility was formally opened at Ghala Industrial Area in Muscat on Tuesday.

The facility is jointly supported by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), local technology firm Innovative Technology Company for Educational Solutions (Innotech) and leading Omani construction firm Galfar Engineering and Contracting.

It follows the signing of a Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) in May 2021 for the research and development of 3D concrete printing technology in Oman to encourage In Country Value (ICV) and private sector partnership.

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. The Company is supporting this initiative by providing its technical expertise, opportunity identification and project management,” said PDO in a press statement.

The formal launch of the facility, combined with similar 3D printing initiatives launched elsewhere in the country, will impart strong new momentum to the growth of a wider industry around this novel technology.

Recently, the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ) – which oversees the operation of the country’s free zones and the SEZ at Duqm – had formally approved the use of modern building practices, including 3D printing techniques, in its jurisdiction. OPAZ also signed a cooperation agreement Innotech for collaborate in the use of 3D printing techniques in construction.

Under the pact, Innotech will share expertise and insights in construction with 3D printing techniques, which would provide a suitable and attractive environment for these projects in the Duqm SEZ. The Authority will then leverage this expertise to establish projects using 3D printing techniques in Duqm.

OPAZ sees the potential to deploy 3D printing technology to accelerate the pace of construction activity in the Duqm SEZ before the technology is rolled out to other zones as well. In support of this technology, it has offered a package of facilities and incentives to companies that use 3D printing in construction, including exemption from rental fees for up to five years. 3D-printing will also enable the construction of tourist and entertainment projects in the first phase of its piloting.

omanobserver

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