A contract for the construction of Oman’s first integrated oilseeds crushing and extraction plant at Suhar Port and Freezone is expected to be awarded before the end of this year.
The estimated $100 million project — the latest in a series of food security related investments spearheaded by Oman Food Investment Holding Company (OFIC) — will help ramp up domestic capacity in edible oils supply, as well as the production of high-quality feed for the Sultanate’s rapidly expanding poultry industry.
Oman Oilseeds Crushing Company, a subsidiary of state-owned OFIC, is overseeing the development of the high-tech oilseeds crushing and extraction complex on a waterfront stretch that forms part of the Agro Terminal at Sohar Port.
Plans have been firmed up to proceed with the implementation of the strategically important project, said a top official of Oman Oilseeds Crushing Company. “We have completed the conceptual design and are currently in the process of floating a tender for the appointment of a Lead Consultant who will help us in the project design and tendering stages,” Raid al Rubaiey (pictured), CEO, said. “At the same time, we will be working on selecting the technology and equipment by the middle of this year.”
Speaking to the Observer, Al Rubaiey said the integrated mill will be designed to process either soybean or canola seed to produce edible oils as well as high-protein feed for poultry farms in Oman and the wider region.
“We are looking at a crushing and extraction capacity of around 3,000 tonnes per day (tpd) of soybean or 2,400 tpd of canola seed. The integrated plant will be designed to enable a switch from commodity to the other, thereby giving us flexibility to choose between the two commodities based on market demand and the availability of competitively priced feedstock for the project.”
Significantly, the project’s waterfront location within the industrial port will enable grain carriers to discharge their cargoes of either soybean or canola seed for processing at the integrated complex.
As with any food or agro-related venture, the Oilseeds Crushing project is also expected to open up opportunities for investment in downstream or value added processing of edibles oils and other by products of the plant. Besides enjoying strong demand as edible oils, soy oil and canola oil also have wide application in number of industrial processes.
Earlier this week, Oman Oilseeds Crushing Company invited suitably qualified contractors to register their interest in participating in the Engineering Procurement Construction and Management (EPCM) tender. Interested parties have until February 9, 2020 to submit Expressions of Interest.
Oman Oilseeds Crushing Company aims to bring its venture into operation by around the second quarter of 2022, Al Rubaiey added.