Vale commences first phase of operations of US$1.356 billion industrial complex in Oman

Press release
Published May 2nd, 2011 - 09:23 GMT

The Middle East is slated to become a world-class producer and distributor of iron ore pellets with the start of phase one of operations in Vale’s US$1.356 billion Pelletizing Plant and Distribution Center in the Sultanate of Oman. Located in the coastal city of Sohar, the Industrial Complex will serve as a hub catering to the growing demand of iron ore products in the Middle East, North Africa and India. 

Vale’s Industrial Complex is comprised of a two-unit Pelletizing Plant, each with a nominal capacity of 4.5 million metric tons of direct reduction pellets per year, in addition to a Distribution Center with an annual capacity of 40 million metric tons. In May 2010, Vale entered into a strategic partnership with the Omani government through the sale of a 30% stake in the Pelletizing Company to Oman Oil Company S.A.O.C. 

“Sohar’s strategic location outside the Strait of Hormuz, with the advantage of deep water seas, and the heavy infrastructure investments to provide leading logistics networks, advanced energy and power supply technologies and world-class facilities at Sohar Industrial Port, were key to our decision to establish our operations in the Sultanate,” said Roger Agnelli, Vale CEO. 

The visionary economic diversification plan adopted by the Omani government will enable the establishment of a competitive steel cluster that will be a vital component contributing to the reduction in the 30 million metric tons supply-demand gap of finished steel in the region. Vale’s project in Oman will create a just-in-time operations framework to better serve customers across MENA. The company is committed to emerge as the largest investor in the mining industry operating around the world with a simple yet dynamic premise that there can be no future without mining and there is no mining without caring about the future. 

Vale’s history is marked by a capacity for transformation and has played an instrumental role in building a solid industrial platform by positively contributing to the development of the local economy. In line with this strategy, the company contracted Sohar Industrial Port Company to build a 1.5 kilometer jetty to be exclusively used and operated by Vale, which is scheduled to be operational in June of this year. Three ship-loaders and one ship-un-loader have already been delivered. A long-term agreement was also signed with Oman Shipping Company for the construction of four very large iron ore carriers (VLOCs) with a loading capacity of 400,000 tons to be dedicated to Vale. 

Driven by its commitment to the sustainable development of the Sultanate, Vale places high priority on developing and retaining local qualified talents in the communities where it operates. To date, the company has invested US$11.3 million in specialized recruitment and training programs that aim to generate 720 direct and 1,800 indirect jobs.  

Vale considers the environment as a fundamental component of its operations and seeks to balance environmental protection with economic development. In Oman, the company continually invests in managing environmental aspects and risks as well as research new technology to surpass the established standards of excellence in environmental control systems. A total of US$40 million has been invested in green technology which includes an advanced 100% water recycling system as well as a 3,150 meter wind fence surrounding the Industrial Complex to control dust emissions. Vale is also innovating the technology used for the production of pellets, making its plant in Sohar the first to use ‘Grate Kiln’ furnace. This technology will provide consistent quality results and an end product with high compression, low abrasion and perfect roundness. 

The global diversified mining company’s activities in the Sultanate are a clear reflection of Vale’s expansion plan that harnesses its pioneering spirit and concern for organic growth. The company continuously focuses on the advancement of the local supply chain, job generation, social and environmental responsibility and respect to local cultures and traditions. 

Over the past year, Vale has partnered with experts, researchers, the community and government entities to build local capacities and establish a long term Sustainability Agenda by commissioning a detailed socioeconomic study of the Al Batinah region and in particular Wilayat Sohar, Liwa and Shinas. The Agenda aims to build an inter-dependent relationship between business, economic systems and the communities through social investments in health, education, technology, culture and local development.  

Headquartered in Brazil, Vale operates in 38 countries on five continents. The company attributes its consistent performance to its discipline in capital allocation, quality of assets and commitment to maximize operational efficiency amid a scenario of strong demand for minerals and metals.  

Background Information


One of the world’s largest mining companies in iron ore, nickel and pellets production operating in around 30 countries across 5 continents. Attracted by the Sultanate’s strategical location outside the Strait of Hurmuz, Vale invested around $ 2 billion in its pelletizing plant with a nominal capacity of 9 million ton of pellets per annum connected with a distribution center with 40 million ton of handling capacity.

Vale came to Oman in 2007 with a mission to transform natural resources into prosperity and sustainable development. Since then, we have been working to contribute to the future of the Sultanate and its people. With our industrial complex based in Sohar, we value our employees and the local communities surrounding our operations.

Oman Oil Marketing Company

Formed in October 2003, Oman Oil Marketing Company with the brand name omanoil is envisaged to be the future prominent player in petrol and lubricant retail in Oman. Today Oman Oil Marketing Company SAOG is involved in the marketing and distribution of fuels and lubricant products and operates in the sectors of fuel retailing, direct (bulk) fuel sales to Government and the Commercial sector, lubricants, aviation refueling and storage and distribution.

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