Oman and Etihad Rail Company (OERC), the developer and operator of the UAE-Oman Rail Network, has signed a MoU with Emirates Steel Arkan, the largest steel and building materials manufacturer in the UAE, to facilitate the export of raw materials from the sultanate to the UAE.

Under this agreement, OERC will provide logistics solutions to manage the transportation of raw limestone, which Emirates Steel Arkan plans to import from Oman to its cement factories in Al Ain, UAE.

The collaboration between OERC and Emirates Steel Arkan creates several benefits, most importantly driving the revenues of the mining industry and increasing investments in Omani quarries.

By connecting ports and manufacturing hubs, the railway network will provide quarrying companies in Oman with direct shipping solutions to export their products to regional markets.

This contributes to achieving the Oman Vision 2040, which aims for a diversified, competitive, and sustainable economy that features unified, modern frameworks, it stated.

"This agreement represents the vision for this project, which was launched to link the sultanate and the UAE, and aims to enhance cross-border trade between the two countries, linking centres of manufacturing and production, and connecting import/export points," said Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi, the Chief Executive Officer of OERC, after signing the MoU with Saeed Khalfan Al Ghafri, the CEO of Emirates Steel Arkan.

"As a result, this will create promising and sustainable business opportunities for the mining industry and construction materials production sector in Oman and the UAE," he noted.

Oman and Etihad Rail will provide logistics solutions for Emirates Steel Arkan through annual transportation of 4 to 6 million tonnes of raw materials to Al Ain. This ensures Emirates Steel Arkan can produce and export 2-3 million tonnes of finished goods to regional markets each year, he added.

Al Ghafri said the collaboration with OERC enhances Emirates Steel Arkan's supply chain capabilities by leveraging the railway network that connects both countries.

"This agreement paves the way for integrated logistics solutions for the transportation of raw materials to and from our cement plant in Al Ain, boosting our operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness, and reducing environmental impact. Furthermore, this enhances our transport infrastructure and reinforces cross-border supply chains," he added. 

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