Ministry of Energy and Minerals Launches “Taqa” Digital Investment Platform

Ministry of Energy and Minerals Launches “Taqa” Digital Investment Platform

Thursday, May 30, 2024

On the sidelines of the COMEX International Technology Exhibition, the Ministry of Energy and Minerals launched “Taqa” digital investment platform, which aims to attract investors in the fields of energy to the Sultanate of Oman. This step comes in light of the Ministry's vision to benefit from the latest digital technologies and achieve digital transformation policies, by converting the services provided by the Ministry on paper into quick and easy digital services, in addition to reducing the difficulties faced by those seeking to invest in the energy sectors.

Badriya Khalfan Al Hadhrami, Director of the Department of Planning and Economic Studies at the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, pointed out the importance of this step in achieving the Ministry’s strategic programs by linking them to the tenth five-year plan, which comes in line with the national priority for governance of the state’s administrative apparatus, by providing an advanced digital infrastructure.

She said: Thanks to the services of “Taqa” platform, local and foreign investors will be able to view investment opportunities in the energy and minerals sector, adding that the “Taqa” digital services platform will be a unified platform for the Ministry’s services, with the aim of enhancing customer service and improving user experience.

An integrative step to connect all energy fields

She further explained that “Taqa” platform project targets the fields of oil and gas, renewable energy, and mineral services, and will launch four main packages; The first package is based on archiving and bidding, the second package is based on licensing management and revenue collection, the third is on contract management, while the fourth package is based on inspections and site visits. Al-Hadramiya also explained that the next stage will focus on linking all digital services provided in the oil, gas and renewable energy sectors, to be accessed through “Taqa” platform, the integrated platform for all energy and mineral services.

She said: During the current year 2024, the Ministry aims to raise the percentage of digital services out of the total beneficiary services to 70%. The Ministry has held a number of meetings and laboratories to discuss the challenges of digitization, in the presence of partners, investors, and other relevant parties. Therefore, the Ministry sought to launch the digital platform “Taqa” to overcome challenges and simplify procedures.

Various options that fulfill the aspirations of local and foreign investors

Raya Abdullah Al Abri, who’s in charge of the work of the Petroleum Concessions Department, pointed out the importance of benefiting from digital technologies in strengthening investment in various energy sectors. She said: All technical and financial requirements at the Ministry have been digitized, and "Taqa" platform will ensure that companies interested in investing have the right to compete for public sites and concession areas in an easy and clear manner, that enables investors and companies to bid within a transparent and fair competitive environment, based on technical expertise, financial capability, and value-added priorities.

Al-Abriya stated that the Ministry seeks to offer various investment opportunities in the minerals sector through the services of “Taqa” platform. The Ministry will offer these opportunities that have obtained the approval of the competent authorities, and have undergone in-depth studies within the framework of two fundamental aspects. The first aspect relates to the opportunities presented independently from the effects of residential areas and natural water resources, and these opportunities concern projects of crushers and quarries for marble and gypsum, which are offered to Omani companies experienced in this field.  As for the second aspect, it relates to large concession areas for metallic minerals from their exploration to development stages, and these opportunities will be available to international companies with technical expertise and financial efficiency in this field.

Regarding the attractive digital facilities for investment through "Taqa" platform, Al-Abriya said: "There are a number of attractive facilities for investment in this platform, including the clarity of the path of opportunities presented to investors according to a regular and specific timeline that starts from the open application period for the available opportunity, the duration for receiving bids, and the date of bid opening. Investors can participate in the available opportunities and complete all procedures from any location they are in. The platform is programmed to automatically evaluate bids according to a grading system that selects the most suitable investor in terms of technical competence and financial capability, ensuring transparency and a healthy competitive environment."

A smart platform that relies on data to address users' challenges

Saeed Awadh Al-Shukri, Director of the Information Technology Department at the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, highlighted the role of "Taqa" platform in supporting the Ministry's digital transformation efforts, by providing an ideal environment for presenting services online, enhancing user experience, increasing beneficiary satisfaction, and achieving efficiency in time and effort. He stated: "This smart platform will assist the Ministry in collecting and analyzing data effectively, enabling the Ministry to improve the quality of its services and make decisions based on analysis and evidence."

He added: "Enabling users to easily access services is a priority, along with the need to adhere to security, privacy standards, and feedback based on data analysis." Al-Shukri explained that the platform will make a significant difference compared to manual application processes in the past, as users can submit applications and complete processes quickly and efficiently from anywhere and at any time without the need to physically visit the Ministry's building. He said: "The platform will allow for accurate storage of information and its use in future operations without the need for re-entering it, in addition to tracking processes and analyzing data, which helps understand user behavior and improve their experience."

He added: According to the Ministry of Energy and Minerals' services guide, which was previously published, the Ministry provides 50 services benefiting companies operating in the energy and minerals sector. These services are offered through several specialized platforms, but it is expected that the main interface for those platforms and services will be the "Taqa" platform, allowing access to the Ministry's services through a single multi-channel window.

The Ministry of Energy and Minerals aims, through coordination and integration with other government entities, to provide distinctive services and simplify services by reducing and integrating their procedures. In the upcoming phase, the Ministry will work on updating its services guide to align with its digital transformation policies.

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