Oman-based United Solar Holding has broken ground on its major polysilicon factory project being set up at an investment of RO520 million ($1.3 billion) within the Sohar Port and Freezone.

The landmark project, which is set to be the largest of its kind in the Middle East, will boast an annual production capacity of 100,000 tonnes, said the company in a statement.

Strategically aimed at polysilicon production, this project is a step forward in building a value-added chain across downstream and renewable energy sectors, especially in solar panel manufacturing, said senior company officials at the foundation laying cermony held in the presence of Sultan Salim Al Habsi, Minister of Finance.

The project aligns with Oman Vision 2040’s goals to stimulate green hydrogen production and reduce solar panel costs in Oman, ensuring employment opportunities and social initiatives, including the training of Omani youth in this emerging field, they added.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ibtisam Ahmed Al Farooji, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and investment Promotion for Investment Promotion, said the project was aligned with Oman Vision 2040 to bolster local investment and attract foreign direct investment.

She also highlighted the ministry’s commitment to fostering industrial sector investment opportunities and facilitating the investor’s journey.

"We are steadfast in our national efforts to enhance investment opportunities in the industrial sector and other areas promoting economic diversification. Our aim is to attract investors to these opportunities, providing comprehensive support to transform these prospects into tangible projects," noted Al Farooji.

"Moreover, one of the key priorities is to add in-country value nationwide by generating jobs for young Omanis and unlocking investment opportunities in each governorate," she added.

Dr Saleh Said Masn, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion for Commerce and Industry, pointed out that the project's focus on clean energy, especially solar, aligns with sultanate's Manufacturing Strategy 2040 and renewable energy goals.

"The project’s investment of RO520 million is expected to significantly contribute to the GDP and enhance global supply chain integration. Oman’s potential in solar energy component manufacturing is set to initiate new, modern industries," he stated.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mansour Talib Al Hinai, Chairman of the Authority for Public Services Regulation, said: "The foundation stone laid today for the United Solar Holding project marks it as a major investment in Oman and the broader Middle East region."

"This project represents a significant step towards localising alternative energy industries. It will provide training and qualification for many Omanis in specialized roles, supporting our economy by adding value to specific projects," he added.

Sohar Freezone CEO Omar Mahmoud Al Mahrizi said: "We are committed to fostering a dynamic and inclusive environment for investment and growth, leveraging our strategic location and world-class infrastructure to attract businesses looking to expand into the Middle East and beyond."

"In line with Sohar Freezone’s Phase Two infrastructure expansion, we are offering 675 hectares to accommodate the growing demands for industrial and commercial space, fostering an environment of innovation, collaboration, and enduring success," he added.

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