India’s Jindal Steel and Power has said that work on Shadeed Iron and Steel plant in Oman is to begin cold commissioning in October with commercial operations starting in January 2011.

The Oman Observer reported that the 1.5 million tonnes-a-year (t/y) direct reduction (DR) plant is now back on track after the prolonged $464m takeover between Jindal and the UAE’s Al-Ghaith Holdings (AGH).

“Our immediate plan is to complete all utilities for the DR plant and commence commercial production of Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI) by end of January 2011,” D.K. Saraogi, executive president projects for Jindal is quoted as saying.

Work on the DR plant is now 100 per cent complete with only the material handling area and utilities left to complete.

There is mounting speculation as to what the phase II at Shadeed will involve with Jindal yet to announce whether it will be producing flat products such as hot-rolled strip and sheets or long products like billets and blooms.