Under the agreement, Sohar Flour Mills will also oversee the construction and development of a new agro bulk terminal and deep water berth, which will be dedicated to handling the rapidly growing volumes of agro-commodities moving through Sohar Port, a press release said.
The subusufruct agreement was signed on Wednesday at a ceremony held at Sohar Port and Freezone offices. Signing the agreement on behalf of Sohar Port and Freezone were CEO Mark Geilenkirchen and deputy CEO Jamal Aziz, while Sohar Flour Mills was represented by Khamis Abdullah al Farsi, chairman of the board, and the company’s director Ali Habaj.
Highlighting the growing role played by the food sector at Sohar Port and Freezone, Geilenkirchen said, “Aligning with Oman’s national food security strategy, we moved to set up a dedicated ‘food cluster’ within Sohar Port and Freezone, which essentially forms the basis for an entire upstream and downstream food production, packaging and distribution ecosystem. The construction of these large capacity grain silos certainly highlights the rapid growth and development of the food and agriculture sector in Sohar, and aligns with the country’s continued economic diversification efforts.”
Sohar Flour Mills is a partnership between Atyab Investments, wholly-owned by Oman Flour Mills, and Essa Al Ghurair Investments based in the UAE. The company has already invested in a state-of-the-art RO15mn flour mill located at the port, which is expected to become operational by the end of third quarter this year.
In its first phase, the facility will have a wheat milling capacity of 550MT per day with a potential to expand to 2,000MT per day in later phases.
Farsi said, “In order to support our operations as well as those of the Sohar Port food cluster as a whole, we will soon be constructing Oman’s first agro bulk terminal at the port, which will be complemented by the new grain silo complex. The terminal will be dedicated to the import and export of agricultural bulk – wheat, rice, barley, and other grains, and will be able to load and unload grain at a rate of 600 tonnes an hour.”