MUSCAT: Brazilian based mining conglomerate Vale SA says it is keen to position Oman’s Duqm Special Economic Zone (SEZ) as global hub for green metallics production, leveraging the abundance of renewable electricity and green hydrogen capacity currently under development in that part of the country.
In May, the mining giant had signed a land reservation agreement with the Port of Duqm Company SAOC to establish an integrated industrial complex (Mega Hub) to produce low-carbon products for the steelmaking industry in the SEZ. The planned industrial complex will cover an estimated total area of 6.78 km2 and produce hot briquetted iron (HBI), and other steel products – collectively known as green metallics.
According to a high-level executive of the company, Vale is currently exploring engagements with a number of its customers and other players to co-invest in Duqm.
“We are looking to attract a lot of our clients to co-invest with us here in Duqm,” said Rogeiro Nogueira, Vale’s Business and Product Development Director. “Our intention is actually to create or to promote Duqm probably one of the most or the most important hub for green metallics in the world.” Speaking to the Observer on the margins of the Duqm Investment Forum, which concluded in the SEZ last week, added: “We are working with our clients, who are steelmakers, and hoping that they can come together with us, invest in the production of direct reduction furnaces, green metallics, which is HBI (Hot Briquetted Iron), and we are prepared to put our investments as well in agglomeration facilities - investments in concentration facilities - to be their suppliers and to promote again, as I said, the creation of this mega industrial complex for producing green metallics to the world.” Earlier, the Vale executive described the Duqm forum as a “great networking opportunity”.
“I think it was an excellent forum, a great initiative, not only because of the content itself, but also because it was a great opportunity to have everybody here who is interested in developing great projects in Duqm,” he said.
Vale currently owns and operates a major iron ore pelletising plant at Sohar Port alongside a stockyard that supplies DRI pellets for steelmakers across the Middle East and beyond.