22 February 2016· SOHAR takes part in world's biggest food industry event
· Gulfood bigger than ever with 90,000 visitors from 160 countries
· US$170 million is already invested in SOHAR Food Zone
This week, SOHAR Port and Freezone joined thousands of companies at Gulfood 2016 in Dubai - the world's largest food and hospitality show, with over 90,000 visitors from 160 countries expected this year. The show connects the global food industry, helping to benchmark prices, quality, service and reliability, whilst also unveiling the latest tastes, trends and innovations.
As SOHAR progresses with the construction of its Food Zone, the first of its kind in the region, the show was the perfect venue to meet international investors looking to play a part in Oman's plans to expand its food-processing sector. The new Food Zone offers a dedicated agro-terminal in one of the region's best-connected Ports, with world-class infrastructure and connectivity right across the Arabian Peninsula.
The new Food Zone will one day feature grain storage facilities and there are plans in place for Oman's first sugar refinery, which will largely eliminate the Sultanate's current need to import over 120,000 tons of refined sugar a year. The new Food Zone will also play a major part in Oman's plans to expand its food-processing sector.
SOHAR CEO Andre Toet, speaking at Gulfood, said: "The combination SOHAR will soon be able to offer of available foodstuffs, abundant feedstock for packaging, and world-class logistics is a big draw for international food companies looking for the perfect regional base in the Middle East. This combined with recent developments in road, air, sea and, soon, rail infrastructure, will undoubtedly spur interest in SOHAR as a prime destination for further agro-industrial investments."
Last year, The Sohar Food Cluster Company (SFCC) signed a lease agreement for a ten-hectare plot located next to the new container terminal. Through SFCC, the UAE's Essa Al Ghurair Investment will create the basic infrastructure to attract international investors as partners in joint ventures to launch various food-related industries at SOHAR. Other investments could look at opportunities in associated areas such as cold storage, warehousing and many other areas along the supply chain.
One such firm is an India-based agribusiness that has recently signed a joint venture agreement for the setting up of a rice and pulses storage, processing and packaging facility in SOHAR Food Zone. At an estimated cost of $39 million, the facility will feature a polishing, grading, blending and packaging unit for 100,000 tons per annum (TPA) of premium long grain rice and a state-of-the-art milling unit for 100,000 TPA of pulses. The project is expected to commence operations by 2017.
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.
+968 9912 6962
+971 50 151 4547
Senior PR Manager
+968 9012 5328
+971 55 698 4327
© Press Release 2016