An Indian/Omani joint venture is planning to build a $665m steel plant at Sur in eastern Oman.

India’s Zoom Group and an unknown Oman investor have formed the Zoom Steel Company (ZSC) and will produce 1.2 million tonnes-a-year at the plant. The output will be divided equally between steel billets and blooms.

Plant Capacity (t/y) Country
Shadeed Iron & Steel 1.5 million Oman
Hidd Steel Mill 4 million Bahrain
Jizan Steel Plant 1.5 million Saudi Arabia
Emirates Steel Phase III 1.4 million Abu Dhabi
Zoom Steel Company 1.2 million Oman
t/y=tonnes a year. Source: MEED

“This is a greenfield project in Sur,” Gazanfar Safvi, chief executive of Zoom Steel tells MEED. “We have already acquired 1 million square metres for phase I and have and another 2 million square metres kept in reserve for phase II.”

Safvi also says that Zoom Steel will not be taking the usual lump sum turnkey engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) route and will instead be releasing a large number of different packages for the project.

“[Zoom Steel] is doing the detailed engineering, buying the technology and equipment and doing the construction separately,” Safvi says. “By using this method we can save around 30 per cent of costs.”

The detailed engineering work is being done by India’s Semac with the UK’s Atkins having already completed the feasibility study.

The SMS group is a frontrunner for the contract to supply a steel shop and mini-mill for the project but a source tells MEED that no deal has been signed yet.

“Zoom Steel has held discussions with a number of different technology providers including [Austria’s] Siemens Steel as well as SMS,” the source says. “Nothing has been agreed yet.”

The construction work is due to be carried out by a number of local contractors. Tenders are set to be released for a number of packages by the end of 2010, with work due to start at the site in early 2011.

“We have to cast and roll our first billet on 18 November 2012 and we should break ground in January,” Safvi says. “Construction will not take long because a lot of contractors can be working at the same time.”

Safvi also says that Sur was chosen as a location due to land being available as well as 300MW of electricity being made available for the first phase and 300MW being promised for the second phase. Phase II would add an additional 2 million-t/y to the phase I capacity.

Zoom Group holds a 70 per cent stake in Zoom Steel. The Omani investor has a 30 open cent share.