Oman and Etihad Rail Company, the developer and operator of the UAE-Oman Rail Network, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Vale, a global sustainable mining company, to explore ways of transporting iron ore and its derivatives between the sultanate and the emirates, linking the mining company’s complex in Sohar Port and Freezone to its planned mega-industrial unit in the UAE.
The agreement reflects the logistical importance that the project will provide to major international players in several different sectors, as they stand to benefit significantly from the competitive advantages and economic incentives of the project.
Vale, headquartered in Brazil, is one of the largest mining companies globally, operating in five continents and a leading producer of iron ore. The company has been operating in Sohar Port and Freezone for 12 years, its industrial complex in Sohar Port, established in 2011, is the largest industrial investment in the sultanate.
Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure and Chairman of Oman and Etihad Rail Company, said: “The agreement is in line with our desire to continue to work on and establish strategic partnerships with major companies in UAE and Oman, supporting economic growth, continued development and investment in both countries.”
Commenting on the strategic deal, Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi, CEO of the Oman and Etihad Rail Company, said: “We are proud to partner with a leading international company like Vale, which has a long history and extensive global experience in the production of iron, utilizing rail as a primary means of transportation for its logistical operations.”
“The MoU highlights the interest of potential users in utilising the UAE-Oman Railway Network and benefiting from its fast, sustainable, reliable, and cost-effective services,” he added.
Rogerio Nogueira, Director of Business Development at Vale, said that the agreement supports Vale’s plans to develop industrial complexes in the UAE and Oman to produce low-carbon products for the steelmaking industry.
“Vale’s partnership with Oman and Etihad Rail reinforces the regional logistics progress, which enables various economic and trade activities, and provides several benefits, including creating new job opportunities and providing high-quality transport solutions,” he added.