Muscat – SOHAR Freezone in the coming years will be focusing on attracting plastic and food industries and renewable energy projects in the zone, which is a 4,500 hectares development.
In an interview published in the latest issue of the Duqm Economist magazine, Omar al Mahrizi, CEO of SOHAR Freezone, said, “SOHAR Freezone will focus in the coming years on plastic and food industries, vehicle spare parts, renewable energy projects, mining, iron and steel, and circular economy projects. The zone attracts downstream integrated projects that offer opportunities to establish other projects that benefit from the products of existing factories.”
SOHAR Freezone, Mahrizi said, is currently working on attracting industries that depend on polyethylene products, which will be produced in the Liwa Plastic Industries Complex.
“It targets industries that seek exporting their products and benefiting from the integrated logistics system of SOHAR Port and Freezone as one entity. The zone attracts factories that export their products to the GCC or India, so they establish their businesses in Sohar to get closer to the target consumer markets. SOHAR Freezone offers competitive advantages,” he added.
Mahrizi noted that the investment volume in the existing projects in SOHAR Freezone stands at RO353mn (excluding the investments spared for establishing and improving the zone’s infrastructure).
He pointed out that 44 industrial projects have been established in SOHAR Freezone in various sectors such as minerals, petrochemicals, food industries, and others. The zone also includes a number of companies leasing warehouses and offices, which are provided by the zone as a competitive advantage.
Speaking about under construction projects, Mahrizi said under construction projects include Al Hosun Cold Storages, Sohar Qabas solar power plant, truck restrooms, quartz and mineral products factory and Sanvira carbon factory. “The volume of investment in these projects is RO76.5mn,” he added.
Mahrizi emphasised that SOHAR enjoys a diversity of existing projects, where many sectors flourish, such as logistics, clean energy, iron and steel, minerals, chemicals, and textiles. He noted that the zone is rich with the diversity of investors’ nationalities form the sultanate, GCC, Europe, India, and South and East Asia.
Regarding SOHAR Freezone’s development phases, Mahrizi explained, “The zone, established in 2010, stretches over 4,500 hectares and has been divided into five phases. During the past years, most of the area was leased out in the first phase, which prompted us to launch the second phase, which includes 516 hectares.”
Pointing out the contribution of Sohar Freezone in strengthening Oman’s national economy and economic diversification, Mahrizi said, “SOHAR Port and Free Zone contribute about 2.7 per cent to the sultanate’s GDP and award 13 per cent of contracts to the local companies, with most have been awarded to SMEs. SOHAR Freezone was able to provide thousands of direct and indirect jobs and support youth training plans.”
He also shed light on the future vision ‘SOHAR 2040’, stressing that its goal is to form an integrated logistics and industrial centre that to employ latest global technologies and follow highest standards of sustainability in various activities.