Muscat: Meethaq Islamic Bank at Bank Muscat has signed a financial agreement with Safe Alloys, a Sohar Free Zone company, which intends to set up a low carbon ferro chrome production plant in the Sohar Free Zone.
The agreement was signed by Sulaiman Al Harthy, deputy chief executive officer, Islamic Banking at Bank Muscat, and Mohammad Bilal Abudayyeh, managing director of Safe Alloys, in the presence of a number of officials.
The agreement falls within the strategy of the Meethaq Islamic Bank to provide banking and financial services complying with Islamic Sharia principles for individuals and institutions in various fields and sectors.
The investment cost of the project is approximately $14 million and it will be set up over an area of 56,000 square metres. This plant will be the first of its kind in the Middle East and will create around 100 employment opportunities in its first phase.
The second phase, which is expected to begin during the next five years, shall witness an investment of around $18 million and provide 150 jobs, bringing the total number of employment opportunities to 250. The project has the capacity to produce 16,500 tonnes of low carbon ferro chrome per annum and will be exported to Europe, the United States, South Korea, Japan and India. Low carbon ferro chrome is produced from chrome ore and lime and silicon metal and is used in many stainless steel industries and special steel, aerospace, oil and gas and automotive industries.
Demand for low carbon ferro chrome is growing due to the global demand for stainless steel, aerospace and automotive industries reaching one million tonnes per annum.
Al Harthy said, “We are delighted to sign an agreement with Safe Alloys. The project is one of the most important and first of its kind in the Sultanate, aiming to attract foreign investments to the Sultanate, as well as enhancing the position and location of the Sohar Free Zone as an economic and investment destination in the region.”
“Meethaq has many achievements contributing to the growth and development of the sultanate’s economy. It extends support to all key economic sectors with innovative Sharia based products and is well positioned to sustain Islamic financial expertise,” he added.
Al Harthi also thanked the board of directors of Safe Alloys for their confidence in the financing facilities offered by the Meethaq Islamic Bank. Al Harthy pointed out that this agreement represents a major chance for Meethaq to diversify its assets.
Safe Alloys’ Abudayyeh said, “We are proud to sign the financing agreement with Meethaq Islamic Bank and look forward to benefiting from this cooperation in the coming period. The agreement intends to strengthen our collaboration with local partners and maximise the value of the national economy.”
He also said that this plant will be the first of its kind in the Middle East and will create around 250 employment opportunities in total. In addition, the growing demand for low carbon ferro chrome will make this cooperation with Meethaq Islamic Bank a fantastic opportunity to enhance the position of the Sohar Free Zone and promote it as an economic and investment destination in the region.
Meethaq Islamic Bank has signed a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding to provide financing facilities for a number of companies and factories. Meethaq is committed to supporting the strategic national initiative to identify opportunities aimed at attracting investments in line with Oman's Economic Vision 2020 blueprint.