Muscat: A feasibility study to set up a project to manufacture light-weighted semi-rigid aluminium containers, which are used for packing food, was conducted by a leading consultancy agency.
The study on the proposed project, which is a downstream unit of the aluminium industry, is for building a unit with an annual capacity of 100-150 tonnes of aluminium food packaging containers of varying capacities.
It appears that the investors will take a decision after carefully studying the feasibility report.
According to the feasibility study conducted by Advanced Business Consultants, there is a potential for manufacturing semi-rigid aluminium containers in Oman, which are mostly used by restaurants and hotels to pack food items.
Oman’s demand for semi-rigid aluminium containers of varying sizes is estimated in the region of 500 tonnes per annum, which is now met through imports, predominantly from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), R. Gurunath, principal consultant of Advanced Business Consultants, told the Times of Oman. Since the newly proposed company cannot capture the entire market share in the initial years, the proposal is to build a relatively lower capacity unit (of 100-150 tonnes per annum) and the capacity can be enhanced in line with the growth in demand.
The prospects of a successful manufacturing unit will depend on various internal and external factors, which include raw material price and the price of competing brands that are imported from overseas markets. However, the fact that food consumption is not going to come down, despite an economic recession, is a positive factor for setting up the project in the Sultanate.
The investors will also take into account other factors like competition from alternate food packaging products like plastics.
As part of a strategy to add value to various major industries that manufacture steel and aluminium, the Sultanate has been planning build different downstream industries that can add value.
Of late, around 15 small and medium-sized downstream steel projects in Sohar were presented before a gathering of over 100 potential investors here during a seminar on investment opportunities.
These investment opportunities of downstream projects, presented by the Sultanate’s leading iron and steel producer Jindal Shadeed Iron and Steel in association with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, include manufacturing units for wire nail, forging units, barbed wire, wire drawing, bolts and nuts, fabrication, galvanising unit, motor rewinding and polymer coating of rebars. All these units can use products of Jindal Shadeed as feedstock, which will help the country to add value in the entire chain of steel production.
Jindal Shadeed Iron and Steel, part of the $12 billion Indian steel conglomerate Jindal group, produces hot briquetted iron, billets and rebars at its Sohar plant.
As many as nine units are directly connected to steel as raw material, while another six supporting projects - woven bags unit, trading, clinic, car washing, rent-a-car and restaurant – are also mooted by the Indian steel producer before the potential investors.
Jindal Shadeed had conducted separate feasibility studies with the help of Advanced Business Consultants for all these projects, which included market study (demand analysis), technical analysis and financial study. Market study was also based on secondary data and information provided by customs department on imports.
The study has also taken into account cost of machinery, capital expenditure, term loan, pay-back period, manpower requirement and its availability.
The detailed study reports of all these projects are available with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for potential entrepreneurs to use the same.