Abu Dhabi: Oman and Etihad Rail Company (OER), the developer and operator of the Sultanate of Oman and United Arab Emirates (AUE) Rail Network, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Emirates Steel Arkan, the UAE’s largest steel and building materials manufacturer, to facilitate the export of raw materials from Oman to the UAE.
Under this agreement, OER will provide logistics solutions to manage the transportation of raw limestone, which Emirates Steel Arkan plans to import from Oman to its cement factories in Al Ain, UAE.
The MoU was signed by Eng. Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi, CEO of OER, and Eng. Said Khalfan Al Ghafri, CEO of Emirates Steel, an Emirates Steel Arkan company.
Commenting on the MoU, Eng. Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi said: “We are proud to work with leading construction materials manufacturers such as Emirates Steel Arkan and further strengthen our strategic partnerships. This agreement represents the vision for this project, which was launched to link the Sultanate of Oman and the United Arab Emirates and aims to enhance cross-border trade between the two countries, linking centres of manufacturing and production, and connecting import/export points. As a result, this will create promising and sustainable business opportunities for the mining industry and construction materials production sector in Oman and the UAE.”
Eng. Said Khalfan Al Ghafri remarked, “Our collaboration with OER enhances our supply chain capabilities by leveraging the railway network that connects both countries. This agreement paves the way for integrated logistics solutions for the transportation of raw materials to and from our cement plant in Al Ain, boosting our operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness, and reducing environmental impact. Furthermore, this enhances our transport infrastructure and reinforces cross-border supply chains.”
Oman and Etihad Rail will provide logistics solutions for Emirates Steel Arkan through annual transportation of 4 to 6 million tonnes of high-quality raw materials to Al Ain. This ensures Emirates Steel Arkan can produce and export 2-3 million tonnes of finished goods to regional markets each year.
The collaboration between OER and Emirates Steel Arkan creates several benefits, most importantly driving the revenues of the mining industry and increasing investments in Omani quarries. By connecting ports and manufacturing hubs, the railway network will provide quarrying companies in Oman with direct shipping solutions to export their products to regional markets. This contributes to achieving the Oman Vision 2040, which aims for a diversified, competitive, and sustainable economy that features unified, modern frameworks.
The agreement showcases the significance of the rail network as a crucial link in the transport and logistics chain spanning the region, which will attract businesses in both countries and international companies in the region, and build long-term commercial partnerships to achieve sustainable economic growth. As the joint railway network will reduce dependence on cars and trucks, it will also drive transformation towards a low-carbon future, supporting both countries’ objectives to achieve net neutrality by 2050.