An agreement was signed for the establishment of the Sultanate’s first major stainless steel plant at Freezone Sohar. The estimated 1-million-tonne capacity project will be developed by a joint venture of South African stainless steel manufacturer Steelmor and Teejan Logistics, a subsidiary of the Omani-owned Teejan Group of Companies.


The signing took place under the patronage of Shaikh Saad bin Mohammed al Saadi, Chairman of the Board of Port of Sohar. Representing the joint venture partners were Hamed al Harrasy, Chairman of Teejan Group, and Mark Kay Clough of Steelmor. Andre Toet, CEO of Port of Sohar, and Jamal T Aziz, Deputy CEO of Port of Sohar and CEO of Freezone Sohar, also participated in the signing ceremony at the Grand Hyatt Muscat.


Importantly, the new venture will pave the way for the establishment of a dedicated Logistics Park at the free zone adjoining the Port of Sohar. SMI Steelmor, as the new JV is called, will be the first tenant in the suit-to-built Logistics Park.  A 10-hectare plot allocated to the JV will be large enough to accommodate further expansions, it is learnt.


Steelmor is the largest supplier of stainless steel products to the petrochemical, food and beverage, power generation and desalination industries in Africa. Established in 1974, the company has its beginnings as a flange, fitting, and pipe manufacturer, but has grown steadily over the years and now supplies products globally in the stainless steel field. “As a strong manufacturer of world-class products, Steelmor is now embarking on the utilisation of know-how, manufacturing ability and substantial stockholding of stainless steel product in the Middle East, with the Port of Sohar as the strategic base for operations,” Freezone Sohar said in a statement.


Development drawings and plans are currently underway and construction of facilities will begin shortly. The plant is slated to be operational within two years. “The project will be unique in the region. We are going to become a one-stop-shop for the petrochemical and refinery industry.  “We will handle a variety of products, plate, pipes, flanges, machine products, heat exchanges, and so on, in fact, any products for petrochemical use,” Clough, who is Project Director (Oman), said.


With Freezone Sohar as its base, Steelmor aims to target the GCC market as well as European and American markets, he said, adding the project has the potential to generate as many as 2000-3000 jobs over subsequent phases of its development. An initial workforce of around 200 employees is envisioned in the first phase, he said. Teejan Chairman Hamed al Harrasy described the project as an important opportunity for the development of a downstream steel industry at Freezone Sohar.