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Oman opens $13m starch factory

Oman appears to be increasing its number of factories as part of a manufacturing push

The Gulf Starch Plant will produce 45,000 tonnes of starch for oil drilling.
The Gulf Starch Plant will produce 45,000 tonnes of starch for oil drilling.

A $13m (OMR4.9m) factory to manufacture starch, a critical ingredient for oil drilling, has opened in Oman’s Sohar industrial zone.

Gulf Starch Plant is a 14,000m² production facility in Oman that will produce over 9,000 tonnes (t) of starch per year. It is the only factory in the country producing starch for oil well drilling and it will reduce Oman’s dependency on imported products used to support its critical oil industry.

Starch is an ingredient Oman’s oil-drilling sector relies upon, and the new factory already has supply contracts with Omani companies worth half a billion dollars, according to the chairman of the board of directors at Gulf Starch Plant, Khalid bin Mohammed al-Salihi.

READ: Oman's $623m Salalah 2 power plant to open 8 March

Al-Salihi said the company was close to completing work to implement its second industrial project, the Gulf Potassium Plant.

Located in Al Rusayl, this factory will have capacity to manufacture over 45,000t potassium chloride and calcium chloride per year. The factory will start producing the chemicals in the second half of 2018.

Oman is in the midst of building up its manufacturing capabilities as part of long-term efforts to diversify its economy. Earlier this month, Oman Food Investment Holding Company confirmed it planned to build a $100m (OMR34.4m) soya production facility that would start producing fodder and soya beans by the end of 2019.

This formed part of the Omani government's wider effort to transform the country into a self-sustainable food producer. This strategy saw the launch last year of the $96m Al Bashayer abattoir. Plans for the factory were only agreed last year and in December 2017, Hoehler + alSalmy signed a lead consultant contract for the meat plant.

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Construction Week - Issue 734
Mar 21, 2019