SOHAR Port and Freezone inks with Essa Al
FEB 10, 2015: SOHAR Port and Freezone and Essa Al Ghurair Investment have entered into a new partnership with the aim of promoting value chain, food processing, and logistics support within a growing multibillion dollar regional food industry. Essa Al Ghurair Investment will lease a 93,000 square metre plot from SOHAR Port and Freezone until July 2043. The creation of Sohar Food Cluster Company will allow Essa Al Ghurair Investments to focus on the development of value chains, which will be ideal considering the availability of dedicated infrastructure and competitive prices at SOHAR; robust food demand in the GCC, and strong financial projections for a number of identified industries and projects. The contract was signed by H.E. Sultan Bin Salem Al Habsi, Chairman of SOHAR Port and Freezone, Andre Toet, SOHAR CEO, and Chairman of Essa Al Ghurair Investment Company, H.E. Essa Bin Abdullah Al Ghurair. Contracts were signed at the Dubai World Trade Centre during Gulfood 2015. As the world’s largest food and hospitality show, the signing provided a reminder of the role both companies can play in reducing the cost of getting food in and out of the Gulf. “We are delighted to welcome Essa Al Ghurair Investment and its Sohar Food Cluster Company to SOHAR. As part of our agreement, Sohar Food Cluster Company will have the option to begin developing, either by themselves or through joint ventures with international companies, services and industries that are linked to production, initially at Sohar Flour Mill,” said Toet. Sohar Food Cluster Company will be located adjacent to the flour mill and sugar refinery at SOHAR, and will be close to the grain storage facility that is being built as part of the food security strategy of the Sultanate of Oman. As these activities grow, they are expected to contribute to downstream industries and support the growth of dry bulk cargo volumes. “Developing agricultural production and local value added services carries with it the potential to assert greater control over food prices and food security, and create local job opportunities,” concluded Toet. “We are thrilled at this partnership which highlights the growing food demand in a region with a heavy dependence on food imports. With accelerated population growth, this partnership will enhance direct access to Oman and other key export markets in the GCC, as well as Iran, Pakistan, and East Africa,” said H.E. Essa Bin Abdullah Al Ghurair, Chairman of Essa Al Ghurair Investment.