OFIC plans to set up soya extraction project
December 17, 2017 | 5:21 PM
by A E JAMES/[email protected]
Eng. Saleh Al Shanfari, Chief Executive Officer of OFIC. - Times file picture

Muscat: Oman Food Investment Holding Company (OFIC), the investment arm of the government that aims to achieve food security by investing in food processing projects, plans to establish a soya extraction project.

Frost & Sullivan has been appointed as the consultant to decide the size of the project, and proposals from the consultants were evaluated by OFIC management. The report was also placed before the board with recommendations from the management.

The whole project is expected to be implemented in different phases, according to a document released by OFIC.

A new company will be formed with active equity participation from private investors, similar to the company’s other food projects such as for dairy, poultry and red meat.

It appears that OFIC and the interested technology partners will further develop the project concept for development.

OFIC has been engaged in developing partnerships with food companies and other stakeholders to identify project opportunities and build strong business cases for investors. Accordingly, three core food projects of national importance were promoted with active equity participation from institutional investors and pension funds.

OFIC was established with a mandate to work as the investment arm of the government in food security, said Eng. Saleh Al Shanfari, Chief Executive Officer of OFIC.

These projects are Mazoon Dairy, a OMR100-million project for manufacturing dairy products in Buraimi; a OMR100-million poultry project; and a OMR37-million red meat project.

The work on the dairy project has already started, and the project will start commercial operations towards the end of 2018. Backed by the OFIC, alongside government pension and investment funds, Mazoon Dairy will provide quality home-produced dairy and juice products. Moreover, it is also envisioned to generate enormous economic benefits, both locally (Buraimi), as well as nationally. The company is expecting the first of the 4,000 cows for the initial phase to arrive at the farm in early 2018.

Mazoon Dairy’s product range will cover a diverse mix of dairy and juice products, including milk, yoghurt, laban, cheese, ice-cream and juices. The company intends to make its full product range available from the launch — a unique achievement for a large-scale project of this kind in the Gulf region.

Financial closure has been achieved for the dairy and poultry projects, which will have 50:50 debt equity ratio each.

All these food processing projects will help the country reduce imports, and thereby achieve self-sufficiency in these products.

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