Oman’s construction and infrastructure sector – a thriving industry albeit until the start of the coronavirus pandemic — is fuelling the growth of investments in new reinforced steel bar (rebar) manufacturing capacity, particularly in the south of the Sultanate.
At Raysut Industrial City – an industrial park administered by state-owned Madayn – construction work is progressing on the new steel plant of Raysut Steel Industries LLC promoted by Muscat Steel Group. At full capacity, the mill will produce 360,000 tons of high-yield strength rebars for the construction sector.
The Implementation Support and Follow-up Unit (ISFU), a special agency of the Omani government tasked with fast-tracking approvals for projects and initiatives of national economic significance, is assisting Muscat Steel Group in securing its requirements of natural gas as fuel for the project. An agreement to this effect is being finalised between the Ministry of Oil and Gas and Madayn, the authority responsible for providing utilities for industrial tenants within its parks.
Just across from the industrial city, construction work is advancing on a large-scale metallurgical plant in Salalah Free Zone, adjoining Port of Salalah.
National Steel Company, backed by a Saudi corporation, is investing $500 million in an integrated steel complex that will produce around 25,000 tons per year of steel structures, 60,000 tons per year of prefab metal structures, 2 million sq metres per year of sandwich paneling for industrial structures, and 10,000 tons per year of industrial floors. Roughly two-thirds of this output is destined for overseas markets.
Meanwhile, another similar project that has benefitted from ISFU’s high-level facilitation has now come into operation. Moon Iron & Steel Company SAOC (MISCO), a 1.2 million tonnes per annum capacity steel complex located in Madayn’s industry city in Suhar, recently entered the “production phase” with a focus on steel billets and rebars, said ISFU in a post.
“MISCO will be one of the leading steel plants in Oman to produce billets and rebar utilising the technology from SMS Group – a reputed global leader in steel mill technology and processing plants. It will also be one of the few regional steel producers supplying a wide range of products in Oman and across export markets in the GCC and Africa,” ISFU stated in its recently published 2019 Annual Report.
As with the Raysut project, ISFU sought to use its good offices in securing gas supplies for the MISCO project. Pending the arrival of gas, the plant has been adapted to make use of LPG.