The foundation stone was laid yesterday in the Special Economic Zone in Duqm for an integrated factory project to produce green iron from hydrogen, with investments exceeding $3 billion (one billion and 158 million Omani riyals), to serve as a new start for industrial development in the Sultanate of Oman.
The project implemented by Folken Green Iron Company, affiliated with Jindal Shadid Iron and Steel Group, includes several stages, as it is planned that construction operations will be completed by 2026 and production begin in 2027, as the goal of the Folken Green Iron Company project is to establish an integrated iron factory. Green hydrogen production capacity of 5 million metric tons per year before the end of the current decade with carbon dioxide emissions approximately 85% lower than the current global average.
The ceremony was sponsored by His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidi, Chairman of the General Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones, in the presence of a number of Their Excellencies and officials in the public and private sectors in Al Wusta Governorate.
The project, which is considered the largest in the world to produce green iron, comes in line with the goals of the Sultanate of Oman to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, in accordance with the royal directives of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq the Great – may God protect and preserve him – which makes the Sultanate of Oman the world’s leader in green iron production in accordance with the vision of Oman 2040 The establishment of the factory also confirms the Sultanate of Oman’s commitment to sustainable and environmentally friendly industrial development.
His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Masoud Al-Sunaidi, Chairman of the General Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones, stressed the importance of the project to establish an integrated green iron factory in Duqm, which will contribute to the production of iron for the automobile sector, electrical tools and windmills, which are needed by renewable energy projects in the Special Economic Zone in Duqm.
His Excellency said: The establishment of the factory in the region comes due to the presence of two projects under construction to produce renewable energy from wind and solar energy. There are also a group of projects in the vicinity of the Duqm Special Economic Zone that aim to send energy to Duqm and then convert it for the purposes of exporting green hydrogen.
His Excellency pointed out that what distinguishes this project is that it will start using gas until wind and solar energy become available. It aims to import raw materials and then convert them to iron, hoping that this project will be one of the three projects in renewable energy, as lands have been reserved for these projects. Pointing out that the difference between the integrated green steel factory project in Duqm and its project in Sohar aims to feed the building materials sector, while this project will work to provide materials to other completely different sectors.
His Excellency stressed that there is a request from one of the international companies specialized in sectors that depend on this project, hoping to reach an agreement with this company to be one of the main clients to purchase iron from this project.
For his part, Venkatesh Jindal, Vice Chairman of Volken Green Steel, said: Today, the Sultanate of Oman stands with its optimal conditions for green energy production as a beacon of hope for a greener future, an opportunity that fully aligns with Volken Green Steel’s aspirations.
He added: The government of the Sultanate of Oman, with its ambitious future vision, has allocated vast areas for renewable energy projects, which will be essential to our vision of producing greener iron starting at the end of this decade. Pointing out that this advanced green iron production facility will revolutionize environmentally friendly industrial processes and will meet the needs of the automotive, wind turbine and consumer goods sectors. He stressed that the project will achieve huge savings amounting to 12 million tons annually in carbon dioxide, and thus will have a significant positive impact on reducing global emissions.
He said: In addition to providing wind and solar energy about 16 hours of electricity, Volken Green Steel Company is making diligent efforts to explore additional green energy storage options 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to cover the remaining 7 to 8 hours. This will be done in partnership between Folken Green Energy and OQ Alternative Energy, which has signed an agreement to explore the joint development project “Integrated Energy Valley,” which is the first project of its kind in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, which combines solar energy, wind energy, and energy storage to provide competitive green energy around the clock. To meet the growing decarbonisation needs of large industries in Oman such as Folken Green Steel.
It is worth noting that the direct reduced iron factory will be a green iron factory with the flexibility to move from 100% reliance on natural gas to 100% on green hydrogen, with a unique combination of direct hot reduced iron and a hot molding system. It will also be the largest model of a single unit factory in the world 2.5 Million tons annually for green hydrogen.