US$1 billion expansion of Sohar steel plant


Jindal Shadeed Iron & Steel LLC believes that capital investments in its integrated steel complex at the Port of Sohar will total around US$1billion.

The plant is set on a 1.2 mn sqm plot within the industrial port. The Jindal-Shadeed project will see one of the most modern steels mills of its kind in the Middle East to be built. The plant was engineered by Kobe Steel of Japan, based on Hotlink technology.

Jindal Shadded's 1.5mn tonnes per annum (MTPA) capacity Direct Reduction Iron (DRI) plant is the centerpiece of the roughly US$50 million steel complex at Sohar which came on stream in January 2011.

The Direct Reduction Iron plant is presently operating at 70 per cent capacity. "We are going to install our 4th briquetting machine within seven to eight months and we expect to reach full capacity after that," said K Saraogi, Executive President & Head Oman, Jindal Shadeed Iron & Steel, reported Oman Observer.

"Our integrated steel plant is in the advance stage of ordering. We are planning to go initially for 1.5 MTPA finished steel and expand further to 3.6 MTPA," added Saraogi.

In Phase 2 of the project's development, estimated to cost US$200 million, Jindal Shadeed plans to enhance the state-of-the-art plant's capabilities with the addition of the following: an Electric Arc Furnace, Ladle Furnace and Continuous Casting Machine (billet/bloom caster).

Work on the second phase expansion is expected to commence in March 2011. In Phase 3, Jindal Shadeed aims to increase the capacity of the steel mill to a worldscale 3.6 MTPA at an estimated additional cost of US$800 million. Consultancy firm W S Atkins, has been commissioned to undertake a feasibility study and market survey to look into this.

The expansion will position Oman as a major supplier of steel in the region, as well as secure the supply of a strategic commodity which can help boost the Sultanate's continuing economic and infrastructure programmes.

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