26 March 2016New agreement inked between SOHAR, Vale Oman and TANMIA· SOHAR Dry Bulk Logistics Corridor to be developed· Mining and minerals are key to sustainable development
As part of plans to further diversify its economy, Oman is fast developing new strategies that will add more value to the mining sector and the Sultanate's substantial reserves of minerals. Some of those plans were unveiled in Muscat this week. They include the development of a complete supply chain, or SOHAR Dry Bulk Logistics Corridor, that will immediately enable the export of minerals that are mined and processed in Oman to international markets at competitive prices.
The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between SOHAR Port and Freezone, Vale in Oman's Distribution Center, and Oman National Investments Development Company SAOC "TANMIA®", is the first step. The agreement builds on world-class infrastructure already in place in SOHAR, currently operated by Vale in Oman to import and export millions of tons of iron ore and pellets. The facilities allow the largest ships in the world, so-called Very Large Ore Carriers with a capacity of up to 400,000 tons each, to be berthed at the Port. Vale in Oman recently won the prestigious Best Specialist Dry Bulk Port Award for its SOHAR based terminal, at the International Bulk Journal Awards in Belgium.
Thanks to the excellent road connectivity in SOHAR and the upcoming cargo railway project, the agreement can immediately support the efficient flow of mining cargo to SOHAR Port. From there the minerals can be stockpiled, processed and exported to markets all over the world. Vale in Oman's deep-water bulk jetty can provide the required services at globally competitive prices to help fuel further growth in SOHAR Port. The jetty is the longest in the region and ranks in the world's top ten on draft. With Vale in Oman's initial investment of around US$2 billion, there is no need for additional capital investment as the facilities are already operational since 2011.
"Oman is one of the most mineral rich countries in the MENA region and our strategy is to build on this to achieve competitiveness in the industrial minerals market and hence gain sustainable economic growth for the Sultanate," said Rashid Saif Al Saadi, CEO of TANMIA®, one of the promoting entities of Minerals Development Oman SAOG, which is currently under formation. Vale in Oman's CEO, Sergio Espeschit, added: "Since our operations were inaugurated and began operations four years ago, we committed to the Sultanate to create this SOHAR Dry Bulk Logistics Corridor which will directly benefit the mining and minerals sector in Oman. Our dry bulk terminal in SOHAR Port already has the necessary internal infrastructure and logistics capability to support the diversification of Oman's economy that will enable the Sultanate's minerals to reach global markets at competitive prices."
SOHAR Port CEO Andre Toet summed up the agreement when he said: "Our existing dry bulk infrastructure is world class; this agreement is about utilizing that same investment for exports -- and that makes so much sense for all of us; it should lead to more growth, more jobs and a more sustainable economic model for Oman."
About SOHAR Port and Freezone
SOHAR Port and Freezone is a deep sea port and free zone in the Middle East, situated in the Sultanate of Oman around 200 kilometres northwest of its capital Muscat. With current investments of US$25 billion, it is one of the world's fastest growing port and free zone developments and lies at the centre of global trade routes between Europe and Asia. SOHAR provides unequalled access to booming Gulf economies while avoiding the additional costs of passing through the Strait of Hormuz. The existing road network and airport and the future rail system provide direct connectivity to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, as well as to the rest of the world. Equipped with deep-water jetties capable of handling the world's largest ships, SOHAR has leading global partners that operate its container, dry bulk, liquid and gas terminals including Hutchison Whampoa, C. Steinweg Oman, Oiltanking Odfjell and Svitzer. SOHAR Port and Freezone is managed by Sohar Industrial Port Company (SIPC), a joint venture between the Port of Rotterdam and the Sultanate of Oman. soharportandfreezone.com
With operations, commercial and exploration offices, projects and joint ventures spread across five continents, Vale is one of the biggest mining companies in the world. It operates in more than 30 countries and employs more than 212,400 people (including contractors) across the world. We are leaders in the production of iron ore and pellets, key raw materials for the steel industry and the largest producer of nickel worldwide. Our portfolio also includes coal, copper, fertilizers, manganese and ferroalloys among other natural minerals. In addition, we operate in the logistics and energy sectors.
Vale set up its Middle East office in Oman in December 2007 with an aim to expand its presence in key regional markets. The company broke ground for the construction of its Industrial Complex in March 2009 comprising of a pelletizing plant with a capacity of 9 million metric tons per year and a distribution center with a throughput capacity of 40 million metric tons. Final investment in the project amounted to US$ 2 billion and the complex was inaugurated in March 2012.
Oman National Investments Development Company SAOC, (National Investment Funds Company previously) was founded in 1998 by Royal Decree No. 81/98, amended by Royal Decree No. 55/2013, as a closed joint stock company established in order to manage investment funds as well as investments in other multiple sectors, such as industry, tourism, services, real estate development and others.The company was formed by 10 shareholders as follows: The State General Reserved Fund (SGRF), Public Authority for Social Insurance, Civil Service Employees Pension Fund, Diwan of Royal Court Pension Fund, Ministry of Defense Pension Fund, The Royal Office Pension Fund, Royal Oman Police Pension Fund, The Royal Guard of Oman Pension Fund, Internal Security Services Pension Fund and The Sultan Special Force Pension Fund. The company manages the founders' assets in addition to company's clients' assets under its portfolio management licensed activity or through investment funds available to the public and licensed by the Capital Market Authority (CMA).
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© Press Release 2016