Sohar port, Mashael in bitumen refinery deal
Muscat, May 31, 2009
Oman's Port of Sohar has signed an agreement with the Mashael Group of Companies, for the construction of the first specialised bitumen refinery in the region.
The agreement was signed by Maqbool Ali Sultan, Oman's Minister of Industry and Commerce and also the chairman of Sohar Industrial Port Company (SIPC) and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, the owner of Mashael Group.
The bitumen refinery is set to break ground by the end of this year in the Port of Sohar area and completed by 2012. The investment is worth over $200 million.
The Industrial Port of Sohar, a 50/50 joint venture between the Government of
the Sultanate of Oman and the Port of Rotterdam is managed by SIPC.
“Since we started only six years ago, in 2003, we have leased out 85 per cent of the port area and that is a very good indicator that we are going in the right direction,” stated Jan Meijer, chief executive of SIPC.
The Mashael Group of companies is a diversified group with special focus in the
Oil and Gas industry and has offices in Bahrain, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Malaysia.
The Sohar Bitumen Refinery will target the niche bitumen market. The plant will utilise the latest technologies to provide a one-stop bitumen supply centre with a capacity of 30,000 bpd, producing up to 1 million tons of bitumen a year where about 20 per cent of the production is prioritised for the Omani market.
'There are two main reasons for choosing the Port of Sohar. Sohar is in the centre of their market and therefore the most strategic location. After visiting most ports in the region, we found the Port of Sohar to have the mostimpressive infrastructure and development plan,' added Bryan Chen, executive director of Al Mashael Group.-TradeArabia News Service