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Sohar Islamic appointed lead arranger for Oman Cement’s expansion

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MUSCAT: Publicly-listed Oman Cement has announced that it has appointed Sohar Islamic Bank as its Mandated Lead Arranger (MLA) to secure the financing needed to fund the capacity expansion of its Misfah plant.

Salim bin Abdullah al Hajry, CEO of Oman Cement, said in a filing with the Capital Market Authority (CMA) on Sunday that he had “executed an expression of interest document to arrange funds for the project ( expansion) with Sohar Islamic Bank”.

Late last year, Oman Cement, the country’s largest cement producer, announced that the expansion would consist of the construction of a new production line (Line 4) with a capacity of 10,000 tonnes per day (TPD) of cement. In addition, it is proposed to upgrade the existing Line 3 production facility to a capacity of 5,000 TPD of cement, up from the current capacity of 4,000 TPD.

The increased capacity is designed to meet growing domestic demand for cement, reduce dependence on imports and also add value to local resources. This increase will be achieved through the construction of a new production line, the company said. A number of engineering companies are bidding on its plant capacity expansion contract.

In addition, Oman Cement is investing approximately RO10 million to strengthen environmental safeguards at the Misfah plant. In addition to improvements to production lines 1 and 2, the company plans to install solar panels to generate green electricity for the main building, as well as to upgrade the quality control system of the air.

The government’s 51% stake in Oman Cement, the country’s largest cement producer, is held by Oman Investment Authority (OIA), the Sultanate of Oman’s integrated sovereign wealth fund.

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