Oman's Sohar Freezone gets projects worth $260mln

Muscat: Oman will mark a major milestone in the mining sector and economic diversification when the foundation stone for RO 40 million titanium dioxide factory will be laid in Sohar Freezone on Sunday. Oman's first petroleum coke calcining facility with a total investment of about RO 60 million will also be inaugurated on the same day.

Omar bin Mahmoud al Mahrazi, CEO of Sohar Freezone, said the volume of investments in the zone amounted to about RO 416 million through the presence of 223 companies.

The CEO of Sohar Freezone said the zone signed nine agreements this year and provided over 3,000 job opportunities with a 45-per cent Omanisation rate.

He said the freezone has become the first destination for foreign investment thanks to its strategic location and the comprehensive list of benefits and incentives it offers to investors like warehouses designed with the highest standards, commercial offices and an abundance of land.

He said the titanium dioxide production plant's initial production capacity is 150 tonnes per year on an area of 160,000 square meres.

Titanium is used in the making of aircraft, ships, vehicles, medical equipment, sports equipment and others. The project will open many doors in the metal products manufacturing sector, which will contribute to increasing the processing of raw minerals in Oman.

The petroleum coke calcining plant is run by Sanvira Carbon, which is a joint venture between Oman National Investments Development Company (TANMIA), Sanvira Industries Ltd and United Business Trading LLC.

The plant is located in the Sohar Freezone on an area of 18 hectares and has a production capacity of 500,000 tonnes per year with the possibility of scaling up to 750,000 metric tonnes per year when fully operational. It is the latest addition to the growing mineral industry complex in the freezone.

The project also falls in-line with the government’s objectives to develop the manufacturing sector in Oman which is one of the key sectors targeted in the National Programme for Enhancing Economic Diversification (Tanfeedh)