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Metal Industry Expanding In Sohar Freezone

by Lorys Charalambous, Lowtax.net, Cyprus
30 January, 2015

Oman's Sohar Port and Freezone announced on January 27, 2015, that a new ferrochrome smelter has been installed in the free zone.

The smelter is the second of five planned for Sohar. Production at the new 100,000 square meter site will be led by Gulf Mining Group, which signed a 25-year lease in 2012.

Sohar said that the USD19m smelter is part of a push to expand the metals sector in the free zone in order to support the iron and aluminum industries at Sohar Port. The CEO of Sohar, Jamal Aziz, said that the metals sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in the free zone and has a high economic yield.

More than 30 jobs have been created at the Gulf Mining plant, which will produce ferrochrome primarily for use in producing stainless steel, Sohar said. It added that close to 90 jobs will also be indirectly created as a result of production at the plant.

Sohar Port was opened in 2002 and the free zone was established in 2010. The business incentives offered by the free zone include 100 percent foreign ownership, exemption from Oman's 12 percent corporate tax for up to 25 years, zero percent import and re-export duties, and zero percent personal income tax. The free zone is currently home to logistics, petrochemical, metals, and automotive clusters that feed downstream industries with iron, steel, plastics, rubber, ceramics, and chemicals, among other materials.

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