The recent Arab Spring was a key catalyst for the development of the In Country Value (ICV) strategy in Oman, a drive to create jobs for Omanis through increased procurement of local goods and services.
Though the ICV strategy is new, in practice Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), the largest employer and producer of oil and gas in Oman, has supported the Omani people for decades, working with local community businesses.
One such business, Al Ghalbi, International Engineering & Contracting (www.alghalbi.com
), owned by Sheikh Ali Suleym Al Junaibi
, is a pioneer in helping local communities benefit directly from big business.
Al Ghalbi was created in 1998 under the Local Community Contractor (LCC) initiative, a process introduced by the Ministry of Oil & Gas (MOG) to ensure local communities could benefit from the oil and gas industry in Oman. As a result, PDO contacted local tribes to inform them about works that needed to be carried out and the opportunities available to contractors.
Sheikh Ali Al Junaibi was contacted by PDO and in due course he set up Al Ghalbi, a family company to provide mechanical works to PDO. With support and training from PDO and the MOG, Al Ghalbi landed its first contract to cold cut old pipes for scrap and took on 10 employees. Since then it has not looked back. Al Ghalbi has become involved in construction, the provision of “High Density Bentonite” lines, demolition and pipeline maintenance – it has just been awarded a new five-year contract to continue maintenance of PDO’s entire 5,000-mile pipeline for the whole of Oman.
Today Al Ghalbi works with many national and international companies – including Daleel Petroleum, Occidental Oman, Shell and Oman Gas – and employs approximately 700 people, of which over 60% are Omanis involved at every level of the company including upper management. Al Ghalbi also helps local communities by supporting water projects and infrastructure.
Sheikh Al Junaibi, chairman and CEO of Al Ghalbi, said: “The new ICV strategy in Oman, is a great opportunity for Al Ghalbi, one of the original local community businesses to work with the oil and gas industry. Al Ghalbi now works within the framework of ICV across sectors from oil and gas to agriculture and manufacturing.
“Oman is an open and transparent country. It’s a great place to do business and the investment climate is very attractive. It’s easy for any business to come to Oman and companies like PDO and Oman Gas are excellent partners. Today there are many opportunities in Oman, for example in the development of the manufacturing industry in Duqm where the government is currently seeking partners,” he concluded.