Kaushalendra Singh –
SALALAH, MARCH 15 –
A new beverage company is coming up in Salalah Free Zone (SFZ) with an estimated investment of $23 million and major future investment plans. The soft drink plant promises production of healthy drink both in the form of soft drinks and mineral water.
The company, according to SFZ sources, would be the first of its kind beverage company in the region with initial internal and external distribution target in Oman, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Yemen. A packaging unit is also in the company’s scheme of things under its expansion plan.
Named as Healthy Beverages, the company is to produce four million cartons of ‘green cola’ and mineral water in the first year, while in the next year it plans to increase production up to six million cartons.
The company’s production area would be spread over 15,000 sqm and initially it aims at offering 50 direct employments.
Present on the occasion of the foundation laying ceremony were Dr Yusuf Wadood Said from Healthy Beverages; Awadh bin Salem al Shanfari, CEO of Salalah Free Zone; Ali Mohammed Tabouk, Deputy CEO (Commercial) and officials from the SFZ and Healthy Beverages.
Welcoming the investor company Al Shanfari said the SFZ is picking up fast and getting recognition with every passing year. “The investments here are sustainable due to continuous efforts by us to improve and develop the services and facilities. Salalah has emerged as a favourite destination for investors who are looking distribute produced goods in the GCC or for that matter whole of the MENA region.”
“It is an opportunity for us to give employment opportunity to our youths and reduce the gap of dependence on oil. Our aim is to expand in non-oil sector and we are progressing well in this direction,” he said.
Dr Yousef, Chairman of the company and the exclusive agent in the Sultanate of Oman, UAE and Yemen expressed happiness over coming to Salalah and termed this project very important.
“Salalah has many advantages. It has very good external and internal supply chain and the best part is its location from where whole of the MENA and East African countries can be easily covered. Its privileged location is the best suited for the production houses,” he said.
Commenting on the company’s expansion plan, Dr Yusuf said: “Company does have future plans to expand and invest in a factory for canning and packaging that include plastic sheets, containers and water bottles. Additionally we have plans to manufacture of cartons to cover the needs of our own products.”
Ali Tabouk said the project is part of strategic plan of the SFZ to attract broad based private investments in food processing and packaging, iron and steel, dairy products, garments etc to diversify in non-oil sector and create job opportunities for nationals. He called upon the investors to take advantage of location, infrastructure and supply chain that includes road-sea and air connectivity.
Kaushalendra Singh –