Vale in Oman, a joint venture of Brazilian-based global mining giant Vale and OQ, says its mega iron ore pelletizing plant in Sohar Port has so far invested around $1.2 billion in the local supply chain as part of its commitment to in-country value (ICV) development.

This figure, according to a high-level official, represents the aggregate of investments made by Vale in Oman into the localization of its supply chain since it commenced operations in Sohar just over a decade ago in April 2011.

The Rio de Janeiro-headquartered mining and metals conglomerate has invested around $1.25 billion in an industrial complex comprising an iron ore pelletizing plant with a capacity of 9 million metric tonnes per year and a distribution centre with a through-put capacity of 40 million metric tons.

Sohar Port’s deep water capability allows for the company’s 400,000-tonne capacity Valemax vessels to bring iron ore for pelletising at the Sohar complex. Much of this output is shipped to Direct Reduction Iron (DRI) mills distributed around the Middle East region as feedstock in the production of steel products, including reinforcing bar (rebar).

Of late, its ramped up commitment to environmental, social and sustainability goals has earned Vale in Oman recognition for its contribution, according to Nasser Sulaiman al Azri , Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, Vale in Oman.

“In the last 10 years, we have invested $1.2 billion in supply chain development, more than $10 million in sustainability and social responsibility projects and $87 million to have environmentally friendly operations,” said Al Azri.

“Vale has invested in the deployment of advanced technologies in our pelletizing and port operations in order to adhere to the environmental measurement, in accordance with the Environmental Regulations of the Environment Authority. Our technologies include dust monitoring systems, emission controls, wind fencing, use of solar panels and poles for lighting, as well as special spraying systems for pelletizing. Furthermore, we ensure to update our ISO 14001 Certificate, reflecting the company’s commitment to controlling our environmental impact.”

Recently, the company partnered with a number of prestigious local and international organisations in sponsoring the ‘Not Discovered Yet’ project – an initiative of a female Omani entrepreneur that seeks to strengthen Oman’s positioning as a unique tourist destination.

Al Azri explained: “Not Discovered Yet encompasses many of the targets that we support. We are a huge advocate of women in business, and have internal gender parity goals, which is why we are pleased to support an Omani entrepreneur with a Vision 2040 focused agenda.

Not Discovered Yet is a project that aims to show Oman and its natural beauty to the world, and position the Sultanate as an attractive tourism destination in line with Vision 2040. However, with the quality of sponsors and supporters, the story extends beyond the natural beauty of Oman, to also position it as an attractive business destination that has sustainable development high on its agenda,” he further stated.

Also, with the aim of making a positive economic and environmental impact on local communities, Vale supports CSR initiatives in education, culture and sport, entrepreneurship, environment and health, he said.

“We continue to work with a number of Omani owned businesses and suppliers to ensure that our economic contribution remains in the Sultanate. Internally, we take career development very seriously and our Omanization rates are far above the median, with a 75 per cent Omani workforce and 80 per cent Omani top management,” Al Azri added.

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