Published on 04th December 2021
In the following years, the SOHAR Freezone will focus on bringing plastic and food industries, as well as renewable energy enterprises, to the 4,500-hectare complex.
"SOHAR Freezone will focus in the coming years on plastic and food industries, vehicle spare parts, renewable energy projects, mining, iron and steel, and circular economy projects," said Omar al Mahrizi, CEO of SOHAR Freezone, in an interview published in the latest issue of the Duqm Economist magazine.
The zone attracts downstream integrated projects that provide potential to start new businesses using the products of existing enterprises."
SOHAR Freezone is now attempting to recruit firms that rely on polyethylene products, which will be manufactured in the Liwa Plastic Industries Complex, according to Mahrizi.
“It targets industries that seek to export their products and benefit from the integrated logistics system of SOHAR Port and Freezone as one entity. The zone attracts factories that export their products to the GCC or India, so they establish their businesses in Sohar to get closer to the target consumer markets. SOHAR Freezone offers competitive advantages,” he added.
According to Mahrizi, the total investment volume in existing projects in the SOHAR Freezone is RO353 million (excluding investments made to develop and improve the zone's infrastructure).
He noted that 44 industrial projects in diverse sectors, including minerals, petrochemicals, food industries, and others, have been built in the SOHAR Freezone. A lot of enterprises lease warehouses and offices in the zone, which the zone provides as a competitive advantage.
Al Hosun Cold Storages, Sohar Qabas solar power plant, truck restrooms, quartz and mineral products factory, and Sanvira carbon factory are among the projects now under construction, according to Mahrizi. “The volume of investment in these projects is RO76.5mn,” he noted.
SOHAR, according to Mahrizi, offers a wide range of existing projects in which many industries thrive, including logistics, clean energy, iron and steel, minerals, chemicals, and textiles. He highlighted that the zone is diverse in terms of investor nations, with investors hailing from the Sultanate, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Europe, India, and South and East Asia.
"The zone, formed in 2010, extends over 4,500 hectares and has been divided into five phases," Mahrizi said of the SOHAR Freezone's development phases. The first phase of the project was leased out for the most part in recent years, prompting us to start the second phase, which encompasses 516 hectares."
"SOHAR Port and Free Zone contribute roughly 2.7 percent to the sultanate's GDP and award 13 percent of contracts to local enterprises, with the majority going to SMEs," Mahrizi added, highlighting the role of Sohar Freezone in improving Oman's national economy and diversification. Thousands of direct and indirect jobs were created, and youth training initiatives were supported, thanks to the SOHAR Freezone."
He also discussed the future vision 'SOHAR 2040,' emphasizing that the goal is to create an integrated logistics and industrial center that uses the most cutting-edge global technology and adheres to the greatest sustainability standards in all of its activities.