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Oman's Sarooj eyes Iranian water pipeline contract

The Omani contractor plans to bid on Phase 2 of the Golgohar infrastructure project in collaboration with its Iranian partners

Simon Karam (above) is looking to supplement Sarooj Construction Company’s Omani contracts with work in overseas markets like Iran.
Simon Karam (above) is looking to supplement Sarooj Construction Company’s Omani contracts with work in overseas markets like Iran.

Sarooj Construction Company plans to bid on Phase 2 of the Golgohar water pipeline project in Iran.

The move forms part of the Omani contractor’s strategy to increase its footprint in Iran, and enter into the country’s infrastructure sector.

Simon Karam, director of Sarooj, told Construction Week that he and his colleagues have been growing the company’s presence in Iran for around five years, in anticipation of the end of international sanctions.

Karam explained: “We became aware of a tender for a 300km, 2m-wide water pipeline climbing from the sea to an elevation of 1,700m.

“The tender for the second phase of the Golgohar infrastructure project, which will require 400km of water pipes, is likely to be floated in the next three to four months. Sarooj and its Iranian partners will bid for this contract, and we are optimistic that we will succeed,” he added.

Before economic and financial sanctions can be lifted in Iran, the country must meet the stipulations of the nuclear deal framework, which was drawn up in Lausanne, Switzerland in April of this year. Best estimates place an end to international sanctions at some point in 2016.

The Sarooj boss is confident that his company’s preliminary activities in Iran will leave it well placed to grow its overseas business once sanctions are lifted.

Karam added: “This [infrastructure contract] is the sort of project we are interested in, so we’ve been working with Iranian partners to make inroads in this area. Under the sanctions, you cannot do a great deal as a foreign company except get to know the market, familiarise yourself, and then make contacts. But we have been in Iran for five years, so maybe we’re a year or two ahead of our competitors.”

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Construction Week - Issue 738
Apr 21, 2019