December 15 - Sohar Port and Freezone has signed a lease agreement with Chinese steel manufacturer Jiangsu Changbao Steel Tube Company.

The new USD20 million manufacturing facility will be located at the Omani port and will specialise in the production of steel piping and related products for the Omani and regional oil and gas industries.

Estimated annual capacity at the new plant will be around 50,000 tonnes of steel pipes and tubular products, with part of the output destined for export to the GCC and other markets.

Aside from the oil and gas industry, Changbao's products also cater to the power generation and energy sectors, and are marketed in Europe, the USA, CIS, Africa, Middle East and other regions.

Changbao project manager Kevin Chow signs agreement with Sohar Port and Freezone chairman, Sultan Bin Salem Al Habsi, and the port's ceos, Andre Toet and Jamal Aziz.