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$46m copper tube mill project to be set up in Sohar

Oman Business

Oman’s Sohar Port and Freezone recently signed a 35,000 sq m land-lease agreement for a major new copper tube mill worth $46 million at the free zone, said a report.

Additionally, a further 30,000 sq m of land has been set aside to increase the plant’s capacity to 30,000 tonnes in the future, added the Oman Daily Observer report.

Construction for the project will commence later this year, and the plant is due for start-up by mid-2018, with full production scheduled by October 2018, said the report.

An agreement to this effect was recently signed at the Grand Hyatt Muscat in the presence of Sultan bin Salim al Habsi, chairman of Sohar Industrial Port Company. Signatories included Jamal T Aziz, chief executive officer of Sohar Freezone, and Marc Evertse, executive commercial manager, Sohar Port and Freezone.

The plant with a capacity of 15,000 metric tonnes of high technology copper tubing per annum, this latest addition to the burgeoning free zone metals cluster will produce mainly inner-grooved copper tubes, as well as plain copper tubes. Both these products are widely used in the manufacturing of heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigeration systems.

The plant’s technology is most commonly known as ‘cast and roll’ and comprises of three distinct production stages. The raw materials, (copper cathodes) that are then formed directly into mother tubes, will be sourced from Iran or the local market. Investments in the plant, that total around $46 million, are to be split between four main shareholders: Middle East Investment Company, Mohsin Haider Darwish Invesco, Hussain bin Salman Ghulam al Lawati and Al Habib Holdings.

Sohar Port’s CEO said that once operational, the new plant is expected to generate 30,000 tonnes of copper throughputs at Sohar Port and another 35,000 sq m of landside logistics volume. Although the bear market in copper, driven by global oversupply and reduced demand in China continues to push global copper prices lower, this is yet another sign that Sohar is in the right place at the right time.

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