SUHAR, JUNE 10 – Suhar Cement — the Sultanate’s third cement mill after Oman Cement and Raysut Cement — will be brought into operation later this year, helping add to domestic production capacity and reduce the nation’s dependence on imports for this strategically important commodity. The new facility, featuring a cement-grinding unit with a capacity of around 240 tonnes per hour, is being developed by a partnership of Sohar Cement (holding 70 per cent of the equity) and UAE-based Fujairah Cement Co (owning the balance 30 per cent of the equity).
Construction work on the plant is nearing completion at a site located within Phase 7 of Suhar Industrial Estate, one of several industrial parks administered by the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE) around the Sultanate. Original plans to bring the new cement plant into operation by the first quarter of this year have been somewhat hamstrung by two key factors: the absence of a paved road providing suitable access to the site of the plant; and lack of power supply to the site.
Both impediments are being addressed by the relevant government agencies following the intervention of the Implementation Support and Follow-up Unit (ISFU) — a special task force of the Diwan of Royal Court overseeing the timely execution of a number of proposals and initiatives designed to spur the nation’s economic diversification.
Significantly, the new Suhar cement plant, along with a flurry of new cement projects planned in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Duqm, will go a long way in ramping up Oman’s domestic cement production cement by 2021. By this timeframe, and assuming all of the project proposals are progressed through to implementation and commissioning, Oman is projected to be self-sufficient in meeting its domestic cement requirements. Currently, the Sultanate is dependent on imports for just over half of its cement demand — a trend that is expected to be reversed with the mega investments planned in Duqm and Suhar, according to experts.