February 02, 2015

02/02/2015: Sohar Port signs pacts for flour mill, logistics centre

Sohar Port has signed a land lease agreement with Sohar Flour Mills, a joint venture between Atyab Investments and UAE's Essa Al Ghurair, for building a new flour mill near the port with a milling capacity of 500 tonnes per day (equivalent to 200,000 tonnes per annum) of different types of flour for local and export markets, The Times of Oman reports.

Atyab Investments is wholly owned by Oman Flour Mills, which is partly owned by the government.

The new project is part of a strategic move to achieve self-sufficiency in essential food products, said Jamal Aziz, chief executive officer of Sohar Freezone.

Construction work to build Sohar Flour Mills, in an area of 26,000 square metres of land near the port, will start in the first quarter of 2015 and the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

Sohar Flour Mills is expected to create more than 100 employment opportunities for Omani nationals.

"The flour mill will connect with the silos and agro-terminal planned at the port. The terminal's berth is ready since we are utilising the old container terminal (B) of the port, which has been moved to terminal C. One berth is dedicated as an agro-berth," Aziz said.

"This opens an opportunity for dry-bulk food items (like food grains and rice)."

Aziz said the port has been talking about starting food related industries in Sohar for some time with several countries, including Brazil, India and South Africa.

"However, the progress was slow. We believe that this project and other government projects (like the silos and agro-terminal) will act as a nucleus to kick-start food processing industrial cluster in Sohar. So the main bulk cargoes that need to move faster will stay near the berth, while a lot of other activities can be located within the free zone," he explained.

The land lease agreement was signed between Sultan bin Salim Al Habsi, chairman of Sohar Port and Freezone and Khamis bin Abdullah Al Farsi, chairman of Atyab Investments (the investment holding company of Oman Flour Mills).

A second contract was signed with the UAE-based Centre Point Logistics, which will take up the option of a plot at Sohar Freezone for the expansion of its logistics, warehousing, and storage facilities.

The facility is for setting up an industrial logistics centre, mainly pre-delivery of cars, logistics support for oil and gas (pipes and drilling equipment) and construction industries. The company will refurbish and distribute equipment for various industries. 

The contract for the logistics centre was signed between Sultan bin Salim Al Habsi and Saleh Said Al Lootah, chairman of CPL Dubai.
Read more HERE.

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