Muscat: Oman Fasteners, a prominent producer of fasteners in the Gulf region which shifted its manufacturing facility from Jebel Ali in the UAE to a temporary facility in Sohar, is going to invest $60 million in the first phase for building its plant within Sohar free zone.
Oman Fasteners has signed a tenancy agreement with Sohar Port for acquiring 120,000 square metres of land on lease in Sohar free zone, the company's chairman Haytham Macki told Times of Oman on Sunday.
"We will use 80,000 square metres of land in the first phase," he said, adding, "Relocating the plant to Sohar offers several advantages, including benefits due to the existing free trade agreement between Oman and the United States — the main export market for the company's product."
Macki also noted that availability of power and tax incentives are other important reasons for the company to relocate its facility to Oman. This will allow the company to become more competitive regionally and globally.
Macki said the company would invest another $60 million in the second phase for expanding installed capacity by 25 per cent and for increasing its product range, which will take the total investment to $120 million. The production capacity in the first phase will be around 60,000 tonnes of fasteners per annum.
"The second phase will be completed within one-and-a-half years."
The tenancy agreement was signed by Andre Toet, chief executive of Sohar Port and Haytham Macki, said a Sohar Port press release.
The company exports its products to the US market, where it is used by the construction industry for building houses (mostly used for joining woods). It is also used by the manufacturing industry in the United States. Some of the European countries also import fasteners from Oman Fasteners.
The tenancy agreement underlines Sohar Port and free zone's growing importance to the economy of Oman.
This is based not only on the rapid expansion in container and general cargo capacity at the port, but also as more and more downstream industries set up business in Sohar's fast expanding free zone. This latest Sohar-based project will support the local community by creating jobs, due to the company's significant labour requirements, and will add additional impetus to Oman's booming and increasingly diversified economy.
"This is tremendous news for Sohar and I am delighted that we now have companies of the caliber of Oman Fasteners on board in the Freezone. Sohar continues to attract major players from the GCC and around the world. Oman Fasteners' move from the UAE to Sohar makes it clear that we now have the right combination of incentives in place to attract more overseas investors," said Toet.
"Our One-Stop-Shop team takes care of everything so businesses can focus on their core activity — building a successful and profitable enterprise. We welcome Oman Fasteners back to the Sultanate and, as we say in Sohar, It all starts here..." he added.