Lime Project to Be Launched This Year
Carmeuse Majan LLC, a joint-venture company led by Belgium-based Carmeuse Holding SA, is setting up the project in Salalah Free Zone with an investment of around USD 180 million. The venture is seen as a showcase of Dhofar’s immense potential to attract local and international investment in the commercial exploitation and development of its prodigious mineral wealth. A total of 8 kilns, each with a capacity to produce 125000 t of lime, are envisioned as part of the Carmeuse’s Oman project. Development of the plant is planned in phases with initial production foreseen in the course of the second half of 2014. The plant’s output is primarily targeted at India where demand for lime products, a key ingredient in the manufacture of a wide range of commodities, is rising sharply. The Gulf region, with its booming industries, is also seen as a promising market for Carmeuse’s products. Dhofar’s relative proximity to the Indian subcontinent and Middle Eastern markets, coupled with the presence of a world-class deepwater port in Salalah, are key factors underlying Carmeuse’s decision to invest in the Sultanate, according to the company. Adding to the project’s robust appeal is the availability of massive quantities of high quality limestone in the hinterland of the port. Significantly, the lime calcining venture is expected to contribute to a further spurt in general cargo volumes handled by the Port of Salalah. Burgeoning mineral exports have continued to fuel the growth of general cargo volumes, which soared to a record of 7,94 Mt at the end of 2013, up 9,5 % from the previous year’s high of 7,25 Mt. A new General Cargo Terminal is under construction at the logistics hub to cater to the steady growth in mineral products and other bulk commodities. The Carmeuse Group is a leading global producer of lime, with more than 150 years of experience in the extraction and processing of high calcium limestone and dolomite stone into lime and lime-related products for industrial and commercial customers. Staffed by more than 4000 people, Carmeuse is present in about 90 locations across Europe, North and South America, Africa, Middle-East and Asia. Total consolidated group net turnover in 2013 amounted to over EUR 1 billion.