Muscat: Harsco, the US-based global company, signed a tenancy agreement with Sohar Port and Freezone recently. The agreement underlines Sohar Port and Freezone's growing importance to the economy of Oman.
This is based not only on the rapid expansion in container, general cargo and liquids capacity at the port, but also as more and more downstream industries set up business in Sohar's fast expanding freezone.
The chairman of the board of directors of Sohar Port and Freezone, Sultan bin Salim Al Habsi, oversaw official proceedings of the signing session. Besides Sultan bin Salim Al Habsi, who is also the secretary general of the Supreme Council for Planning, others present on the occasion included members of the Sohar Port and Freezone, senior management team and Mauro Curi, representing Harsco Minerals Arabia.
Harsco headquartered in Pennsylvania, the US, is a massive global organisation with three core divisions — Harsco Metals & Minerals, Harsco Rail and Harsco Industrial.
The core of Harsco project in Sohar is to collect by-products from steelmaking industries in Sohar Port and Freezone and other parts of the region and process them to produce valuable environment-friendly raw materials for other industries. Harsco does this globally in 37 countries and over 160 sites and has more than 80 years of experience as the industry leader. Their offering is an environmental solution to industrial by-products.
At the core of the company's values, highlighted through their commitment to excellence, is creating an enduring safety culture centred on 'zero harm.' This project is an added value to Sohar from an environment perspective as not only will they reduce waste levels, they will also ensure remaining waste is cleaner.
The company is pursuing strategic growth and has recognised Oman and indeed Sohar as an integral part of these ambitions. By signing the tenancy agreement with Sohar Port and Freezone, the company will be unlocking resources that will benefit the environment for decades to come.
A leading port
This latest announcement comes on the back of an unparalleled period of growth for Sohar Port and Freezone, resulting in Sohar now ranking as one of the world's largest port and free zone developments with investments totaling over $15 billion.
Sohar's prime position as a deep-water port outside the Strait of Hormuz, coupled with the abundance of low-cost energy and feedstocks like petrochemicals, iron and steel, and aluminum, is attracting more overseas investors than ever before.
Jamal Aziz, chief executive officer of Freezone Sohar, said: "This is tremendous news for Sohar and is testament to the high level of service we offer and the right combination of incentives to attract more overseas investors. Sohar is committed to ongoing growth ambitions by attracting huge global operators. We will, without doubt, continue to prosper as an organisation but also create many opportunities for the people of Oman through job creation and economic prosperity. This is great news for the Sultanate and, as we say in Sohar' It all starts here."