India-based Metkore Alloys plans to invest $80m to build a ferrochrome plant in Sohar, making it the third project of its kind under development in Oman’s northern port.

Metkore is establishing a local subsidiary and on 9 June signed a land-lease agreement with Sohar Free Zone, the company said in a statement on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The smelter will be capable of producing 165,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of ferrochrome using chromite mined in Oman, and is expected to be operational in 2014. Metkore has already awarded a consultancy contract for the project.

At the same time, Gulf Mining Materials Company is setting up a 50,000 t/y ferrochrome plant, while another smelter is being built as a joint venture of Oman-based Al-Tamman Trading and India-based Indsil Group.

Ferrochrome is an alloy of chromite and iron, which is mainly used in the production of stainless steel.