Muscat: A new factory that is being set up in Sohar to manufacture alloy wheels will generate up to 500 jobs for talented local workers.
The move was announced as part of the country’s Tanfeedh plans for economic expansion, which is being overseen by the state’s Implementation, Support and Follow-up Unit (ISFU). The plan was published in the ISFU’s Annual Report for 2018, and will use aluminium produced by Sohar Aluminium as part of the raw material for the facility, which will be located next to the aluminium plant.
“With the uptick in production from Sohar Aluminium Plant, there is now the potential for Oman to become an exporter of downstream aluminium-manufactured products,” said the ISFU’s report.
“In particular, alloy wheels (will be supplied) to the Indian and American markets. Sohar Aluminium Plant, located next door to the alloy wheel manufacturing facility, will supply 45 per cent of the raw materials needed for the proposed output. With an export value targeted at upwards of OMR20 million, the project will provide 500 new jobs across the 12 steps of the production process.”
Stakeholders in the project include various bodies like Ministry of Oil and Gas, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Sohar Aluminium, Synergies Castings LLC and Sohar Industrial Estate.
The report says that the construction of the project is likely to begin in the second quarter of 2019 once the finance agreement is established.
“Signing the project financing agreement will allow the project team to start site preparations and construction in the second quarter of 2019. Prior to this, the project team is planning to complete the procurement of machinery as well as signing the electricity and water supply agreement,” the report read, detailing plans to move the project forward.
Sohar Aluminium had previously said that a deal was in place with Synergies Castings LLC to oversee the setting up of this plant.
Said Al Masoudi, Sohar Aluminium’s Chief Executive Officer said, “A central component of Sohar Aluminium’s strategy is to promote and support the growth of downstream aluminium industries within the Sultanate. With this agreement in place, we will meet our goal of supplying 60 percent of our hot metal production to downstream partners.
He added: “We are offering them proximity to raw materials, a significant value proposition that provides our downstream customers with a distinct energy cost advantage. This initiative is also in sync with our intent to build beneficial relationships with local suppliers as well as customers from Oman and abroad in order to deliver sustainable In-Country Value (ICV) for Oman.”
According to Sohar Aluminium, the plant has an initial estimated investment of US$ 100 million (about OMR 40 million). Commenting on this, Khalid Al Kimyani, Chairman of Synergies Castings had previously said, “Oman’s abundant resources combined with its growing economy and infrastructure make it an ideal win-win agreement. With Sohar Aluminium as a supplier, our expansion in this region will further help us deliver quality around the world.”
Synergies Castings Ltd is India’s leading non-ferrous component company, manufacturing alloy wheels, aluminium castings, and plastic components. As one of the global leaders in the manufacturing of chrome-plated wheels up to 24 inches in diameter, Synergies Castings supplies alloy wheels to most international automobile makers including General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, Tata Motors, Mahindra and Fiat.