A delegation led by Sohar Port and Freezone Chairman HE Sultan Bin Salim Bin Said Al Habsi from Oman met Shri Vallabh Pittie Group (SVP), one of the largest manufacturers of cotton yarn in India and a global leader in the sector recently in Jaipur, India.

The free zone authorities recently signed an agreement to establish a new $300 mn plant in Sohar Freezone to manufacture a wide range of cotton yarn, to be operated as SV Pittie Sohar Textiles FZC-LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bombay listed SVP Global Ventures Ltd. The facility is expected to start commercial operations in late 2019.

Abdullah Humaid Al Mamary, Chairman of Bank Sohar, together with Acting-CEO Sasi Kumar and other senior officials from the bank, were also part of the delegation. Bank Sohar has been awarded the syndication mandate to fund the entire project in two phases. An agreement to this effect was entered into with SVP Group. The bank has currently underwritten phase-one debt, to achieve financial closure. On successful completion of phase-one, the bank plans to syndicate a term debt for phase-two, along with a share of phase-one debt, to interested lenders.

Sasi Kumar said that they are honored to be the finance partner for a project of this magnitude that is expected to have a significant impact on the development of the region. It demonstrates their commitment to collaborate as a one-stop financial services provider catering to the diverse needs of individuals and large corporate customers.

The plant will import 100,000 metric tonne of cotton fibre annually through Sohar Port, with around 50 per cent coming from the United States and the remainder split between Australia and India. The plant will produce around 75,000 tonne of finished yarn each year, which will be exported back through the Port to China and other global markets including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Vietnam, Portugal and Turkey.

Chirag Pittie, SVP Group’s Managing Director said that with over two-hundred years’ experience in the textile business, their company has a highly skilled and experienced management team with a strong focus on automation and technology. They source best-in-class machinery from leading global companies to ensure the highest levels of productivity and efficiency.

Sohar Freezone CEO, Jamal Aziz, summed up stated that today’s agreements showcase the great things they can offer to investors in SOHAR Freezone: the safest haven in the Middle East for foreign direct investment combined with high levels of government support; project financing with an Omani bank; 100 per cent foreign ownership; our optimal location and seamless connectivity to key global markets through their adjacent port; highly competitive land and energy rates; and a young, well-educated local workforce. Taken together, this is a sure fire recipe for business success.”

The new SVP facility will be the first step in establishing a fully-fledged textile cluster in SOHAR Freezone. The thriving industrial eco-system providing thousands of new jobs for local community would fuel downstream investments in knitting, weaving, spinning and fabric manufacturing.