Minerals Development Oman (MDO), a subsidiary of Oman Investment Authority (OIA), has signed a shareholder agreement to develop a titanium dioxide production plant in the Sohar Free Zone at a cost of RO 43 million. The project, covering an area of more than 120,000 square metres, will have a capacity of 150,000 tonnes per year and will create more than 300 job opportunities. Under the agreement, MDO will own 35 per cent of the project shares, while the remaining shares will be owned by strategic partners, most notably Stork International, a leading company in the field of manufacturing products related to titanium dioxide, which is mainly used in the pigment industry. The purpose of selecting Sohar Free Zone as an ideal site for the project is to take advantage of the advanced infrastructure in the region and to meet the project’s needs whether in importing the raw materials or exporting the final product, as well as the proximity of the free zone to the target markets. Besides attracting foreign direct investment into the country, the project is also expected to drive investment in secondary industries and increase the contribution of the mining sector to the Sultanate’s GDP. Minerals Development Oman was established in 2016 with a clear strategic vision to invest in the mining sector in the Sultanate and to increase its contribution to the growth of the economic and social sectors by creating job opportunities and building local competencies, in addition to supporting small businesses and developing the in-country value.
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