August 31, 2008

Salalah Free Zone Signs Agreements

According to Oman News: Under the auspices of Maqbool bin Ali Sultan, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of the Free Zone Committee, a celebration was held at Dhofar governorate today to mark signing a number of agreements and opening of a number of projects at the Salalah Free Zone.The agreements signing ceremony was attended by Ahmed bin Abdulnabi Macki, Minister of National Economy & Deputy Chairman of the Financial Affairs & Energy Resources Council, Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Mohammed bin Marhoon al Ma'amari, Minister of State and Governor of Dhofar, Sheikh Salim bin Mustahil al Ma'ashani, Advisor at the Diwan of Royal Court, a number of officials and businessmen.At the beginning of the ceremony which was held at Luban hall at Hilton Salalah hotel, Eng. Awadh bin Salim al Shanfari, CEO of Salalah Free Zone Company gave a speech where he pointed out to the Royal Decree No.62/2006 on 20th June 2006, establishing Salalah Free Zone with more than RO. 11 million investments at the first stage. The Zone managed to lure 8 major industrial projects; some of them are completed and others are still at the stage of completing process. More than 50 companies have been registered in sectors, such as, construction consultancy, supply and logistic services with investments of more than RO. 700 million.Sultan bin Salim al Habsi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance and chairman of Salalah Free Zone Company then signed the sub usufruct agreements and a Memorandum Of Understandings setting up a number of new projects at Salalah Free Zone with executives of OSWAL Caustic Oman and IBI Shwatic and Oman Textile House. The sub usufruct agreement with OSWAL Caustic Oman is related to establishing a venture to produce caustic soda and hydrochloride with more than $ 550 million investments. The sub usufruct agreement with IBI Shwatic is related to setting up a project to manufacturing of steel and aluminum moulds, as well as, components of casts with investments more than $ 6 million. The Memorandum Of Understanding with Oman Textile House company is related to establishing a special venture for manufacture of fabrics and textile with $60 million estimated investments and $28 Million expected revenues from exports. Before the signing of the agreements, there has been a detailed presentations on the projects implemented by Octal Petrochemicals company and Dows Oman for the manufacture of vehicle brakes at Salalah Free Zone. There has been also a detailed presentation on the projects that will be implemented by Oswal and Oman Textile House during the coming period.After the signing of the agreements, the Minister of Commerce and Industry and attendees visited Salalah Free Zone and opened the Octal Petrochemical Company's plants (Under construction) Crystal and Sapphire which will produce PET and APET sheets, the raw materials used in plastic industry. Upon completion, the investment of the two projects amount to $1.45 billion, extending on 47 hectares. The two plants will provide 850 job opportunities. The chief guest also opened Dunes Oman Company for the manufacture of vehicle brakes with $ 18 million investment. The value of the expected exports of the plant located at 12 hectares and providing 250 job opportunities, is $30 million. It is worth mentioning that the investment of the current and potential ventures at Salalah Free Zone is more than $ 700 million. These ventures are expected to create more than 2210 job opportunities. In a statement to reporters, Maqbool bin Ali Sultan, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of the Free Zone Committee said that these plants are up to world class standards and different from the current industrial projects at the industrial estates or any other industrial area. "Octal venture for the raw materials for the plastic industry, which is one of the major plants in the Middle East, with more than $1.5 billion investments, Maqbool said.Dunes Oman company for the manufacture of vehicle brakes is dedicated for the manufacture of vehicle brakes and the brake components. The plant, which will be set up by an Indian specialized company, is new to the Sultanate and all its products will be for export, he added. The government currently considers availing alternative energy, such as, environmentally safe coal.

Originally published by Info-Prod Strategic Business Information.

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