‘We are looking to appoint a project manager within three weeks,’ Bilal Matarneh, general manager at Shadeed Iron & Steel, the project company, said on 16 November the sidelines of the Port of Sohar conference, organised jointly by MEED and Sohar Industrial Port Company (SIPC).

The complex, which is the sultanate’s first iron and steel plant, will require a total investment of $350 million in the first phase. Under the 30-year land lease agreement with SIPC, various government ministries will supply natural gas, seawater and port access with a dedicated berth with a depth of 16 metres and a length of 300 metres. India’s MN Dastur & Companyis the consultant. Initial project management and local engineering was carried out by Al-Ghaith’s industrial arm, Advance Projects Development.

The US’ Midrexis providing design, technology and equipment for the 500,000-t/y direct reduction iron (DRI) unit. Austria’s VAI Fuchsis supplying technology, design and equipment for the 1 million-t/y steel meltshop.

Further expansions planned at the complex include a 4 million-t/y pelletising unit, which is expected to take project costs beyond $700 million.

The project was originally to have been located in Abu Dhabi.