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A great opportunity for Oman through Freezone Sohar

On Wednesday the 14th of September another customer to Freezone Sohar was welcomed in a signing ceremony at the Grand Hyatt Regency Hotel in Muscat. HE Sheikh Saad bin Mohammed Al Mardhouf Al Saadi, Minister of Commerce and Industry and the Chairman of Sohar Industrial Development Company LLC (SIDC) signed together with the CEO of Freezone Sohar, Mr. Jamal T. Aziz and Mr. Vinod Narasiman the Chairman and proprietor of Indsil Group signed on behalf of the JV company investing in the Project.

Indsil Group from India has business interests in specialty alloys and power generation and is a fast growing company with integrated manufacturing plants in various places in the world. In 2010 the company entered a 50/50 joint venture with the Muscat Overseas Group in Oman who owns and runs the largest chrome ore mines in Oman. Oman has large reserves of medium grade of ore.

The contract today sets the start to construct the first two ferro chrome smelters out of four in a 1ha plot in Freezone Sohar. Chrome is the key ingredient to make stainless steel and the management of Freezone Sohar has identified the downstream stainless steel sector as an integral addition to the already-established steel cluster which boasts a number of founded and planned steel-related industries in Port of Sohar and Freezone.

The Joint Venture Company is investing USD 30 million in the construction of the first two smelters that will also generate approximately 300 jobs (direct and indirect).

The project aims to develop the available chrome ore to ferro chrome for the first time in Oman. The ferro chrome will be exported to international markets with Japan and Europe as the primary destinations. The project allows stainless steel companies to set up their businesses in Freezone Sohar. This would offer further investment opportunities in other related industries, manufacturing, logistics and various services.

Freezone Sohar is spearheaded by Sohar Free Zone LLC as the Operating Authority which has been empowered by Royal Decree No. 123/2010 issued by His Majesty the Sultan of Oman last December to develop, manage and issue licenses under a One Stop Shop to Working Companies in the Zone. Sohar Industrial Development Company LLC (SIDC) is the main shareholder, a joint venture between the Government of Oman and the Port of Rotterdam in The Netherlands. SKIL Infrastructure in India has been chosen as a strategic partner.

Operating from a strategic location on the Arabian Peninsula, Freezone Sohar offers an ideal environment for business growth. The combination of wide market access, sound global logistics and attractive business incentives ensure that companies enjoy the ultimate freedom to do business. Together with the port, the new airport and upcoming railways system it further accentuates the importance of the area as a driver of economic growth in the Bhatinah region. The availability of raw material, energy and local manpower further enhance the value proposition of Sohar as a destination of choice to investors.

For further information, please contact:
Annica Sigevall
Head of Corporate Communication
Sohar Industrial Port Company
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