Oman’s Shadeed Iron and Steel plant in Sohar will now concentrate on its billet caster and steel shop after the US’ Midrex completed work on the direct reduced iron (DRI) plant.

The plant, owned by India’s Jindal Steel, have now opened up discussions regarding both of these facilities with Midrex although it is still not certain whether an open bidding prociess will take place.

“Midrex has made good progress on the DRI plant and it has become operational earlier than scheduled,” says a source working in the Middle East steel industry. “Midrex is now in negotiation regarding the steel shop and billet caster, so maybe there was some obligation from the previous ownership.”

The source also says that the phase II plans for Shadeed will now be aimed specifically at long products with a feasibility study also being carried out for a seamless pipe mill.

“Long products are definitely the higher priority and the pipe mill will depend entirely on the market situation,” says the source.

Long products are usually made from billets or blooms and include bars, rods and wires, structural shapes and rails.

Jindal was not available for comment when contacted by MEED.

The company bought the Shadeed plant from Abu Dhabi’s Al-Ghaith Holdings (AGH) for $464m in May 2010 after a lengthy negotiation and due diligence process (MEED 20:5:11).