$300m yarn project to anchor cotton industry

Muscat, Dec 15 – India’s leading textile manufacturer, the ShriVallabh Pittie Group, says its high-tech yarn manufacturing plant in Sohar Freezone will ignite the growth of a full-fledged cotton industry in the Sultanate, encompassing potentially large-scale cotton cultivation, intermediate processing, and fabric manufacturing activities as well.
According to Chirag Pittie, Managing Director — ShriVallab Pittie Group, the conglomerate is weighing further investments in a major Textile Cluster that will be anchored by its $300 million yarn manufacturing plant the first unit of which was inaugurated on Thursday. His Highness Sayyid Taimur bin Asaad al Said led a large gathering of government dignitaries, as well as executives representing S V Pittie Group, at the ceremony.
“This unit will be the anchor project that leads to the development of a textile cluster that will start from cotton and will manufacture the entire range of finished textile products,” said Chiraq Pittie. “The project aims to position Oman on the textile map of the world. Textile products to be manufactured in Oman are to become a symbol of Omani pride, while ‘Made in Oman’ textile goods will replace imports across the GCC countries and will be exported across the globe.”
Later in comments to journalists, the Managing Director said the Group will be playing a central role in driving the development of the proposed Textile Cluster in Oman. The promoters, he said, are close to making an announcement on the acquisition of new land for the development of the ambitious cluster.
“The Textile Cluster will be led by us; we will be playing the anchor role not only in terms of manufacturing of yarn, but also the manufacturing of fabric and further downstream processing,” said Pittie, noting that the availability of yarn — the raw material required for fabric manufacturing — will attract investments in a range of textile related activities, including weaving, fabric manufacturing, and garment production.
Significantly, the Cluster also has the potential to breathe new life into cotton cultivation in the Sultanate — an agricultural activity that died down for want of adequate domestic demand, said Pittie.
“Cotton is known as ‘white gold’ because farmers get a higher realisation on their land if they cultivate cotton versus any other food crop,” the Managing Director said.
A team from India specialising in the cultivation and promotion of cotton had visited the Sultanate to carry out some initial tests in this regard. Pittie explained: “It is feasible to cultivate cotton in Oman. We are looking to put together some arrangement whereby cotton cultivation can be promoted in Oman. Of course, we would support it by ensuring the complete buyout of the entire cotton that is cultivated.”
On Thursday, the Group’s Oman subsidiary — SV Pittie Sohar Textiles — celebrated the formal launch of Cotton Yarn Spinning Unit 1, which is the first of four units that will together make up the sprawling yarn manufacturing project being constructed in the free zone with a total investment of $300 million.
When fully completed by November 2019, they will house a total of 300,000 spindles and 7,000 rotors producing over 100,000 metric tonnes of compact cotton yarn per annum.
Raw material for the yarn manufacturing plant, said Pittie, will be sourced from a number of countries, including the United States, Australia, India and parts of Africa. The finished product will be exported to Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Turkey, countries of Europe and even South America.