General Incorporated Association
The Japan-Oman Society
Japan-Oman Society, as a new project, has started to conduct an interview with a corporate member who is actively performing their activities in the Gulf region, and plans to place a gist of our interview on our website.
Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Abe visited the Sultanate of Oman in January 2014, and met with H.M. Qaboos bin Said, Sultan of Oman, and a “Joint Communique on the Strengthening of the Comprehensive Partnership towards Stability and Prosperity” has been expressed.
The Japanese enterprises in Oman are creating the job opportunities through the investment and economic activities there, and in fact, largely contributing to the development of that country, as well as tackling with the improvement of their CSR.
A total of 26 enterprises are affiliated with our Society as a corporate member, and supporting our activities. Deepening communications between the corporate members and individual members will really be a big challenge for building a comprehensive partnership in our Society. In this respect, we would like to sincerely ask the corporate members to extend their cooperation to our new challenge.
Stable Supply of Electricity and Water to Oman – A Challenge by Marubeni Corporation
Security and economics, as well as fostering of human resources by education constitute a foundation for building a country. In preparation for a future dry-up of natural resources such as oil and gas, Oman is tackling with economic development, as well as conversion of industrial structures by taking a diversified strategy on a national level.
One of the most important resources to upgrade the economic foundation and the life of national people is electricity.
A power plant (Sur IPP project) with a capacity of 2,000MW supplying over 25% of consumed electricity in the country and, the largest power plant in Oman, has been constructed by the Marubeni / Chubu Electric Power consortium (with Chubu’s shares now transferred to its affiliate JERA), and now it is under operation since 2014. Most of the electricity generated by this plant is stably being supplied to Muscat. Approximately eight- percent increase of electricity demand is expected in Oman. Improvement of infrastructures in the cities, development of large scale resort areas, or construction of spacious housing are considered to be the factors of boosting the demand of electricity in Oman.
Electricity generated is sold to Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) based on a 15-year long- term contract. The fuel for the plant is being supplied by the Ministry of Oil and Gas.
One characteristic of this project is that it has a very strong presence of Japanese companies and institutions. In addition to Marubeni and JERA as shareholders, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Mizuho Bank, the Bank of Mitsubishi Tokyo UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, and Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking are supporting the project from the lenders’ side, with an insurance provided from Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI). On the technical side, Fuji Electric supplies steam turbine. This mix of Japanese involvement is playing a key role in various fields of the project.
Summary of Qs & As:
Q: What is CSR in Oman for Marubeni through this project?
A: To make a contribution to the solid development of Oman through a safe and stable supply of electricity, as well as training the Omani members so that they can self-sustain electricity by themselves in the future.
Q: What is a specific effort for such Omanization?
A: Omani people are diligent and highly motivated. It is true that some of the foreign member (British, Indian, Pakistani, Filipino, etc.) are currently are working at our plant. But we are gradually transferring the positions now occupied by the foreign staff members to Omani staff members. We are also tackling with “Surization.” Sur IPP project provides a valuable work place for the people of Sur. In order to advance above objectives, a strong emphasis has been placed on the training of the staff members by Sur IPP project, and the Omani staff members trained at the training center of Sur IPP project are improving their skills daily. We think that such training will eventually contribute to improve the level of not only our staff members but also for the country of Oman overall.
Q: Do you intend to operate the plant by all Omani people for the aforementioned term of 15 years of contract?
A: Our absolute mission is to safely and stably generate the power, and we do not intend to make any compromise on that. Although it will be a challenge to operate the plant now with 100% Omani staff members while meeting our objective, with our training and job succession program, we believe we are heading towards that direction.
Q: What is CSR for a regional level, and future activities?
A: The project company Phoenix Power Co. has a large number of staff members and their families. One of our missions is to offer a peaceful and stable life to such a large family. We will also make a plan and compile a budget for CSR, and carry out activities based on our plan. For instance, during Ramadan period, provision of meals to the local people, cleaning of the beaches, visit schools for education on safety matters, present books to schools, visit hospitals to present a present, etc. We would like the local neighbors to get benefits out of our business especially on the fields such as safety and education, something we truly value within the company.
We interviewed with Mr. Tomoki Nishino of Marubeni Corporation headquartered in Tokyo. He was a first CFO stationed at Phoenix Power Co., in Muscat and stayed there for about three and half years and transferred back to Tokyo head office in the summer of 2015. Mr. Nishino is currently General Manager, Power Investment Team I of Overseas Power Project Dept.-IV at Marubeni Corporation head office.
(As to the organization and overall overseas projects of Marubeni, please see the website of Marubeni.)