Indian state owned SAIL has signed an initial pact with Oman Oil Co to jointly set up a 3Mt/y gas-based steel plant in Oman at an investment of around Rs. 150000M (US$3bn).

SAIL chairman Mr. C. S. Verma said the final agreement with Oman Oil Co is likely to be signed within the next six months, after which, it will take 2.5 to 3 years for the plant to be operational.

He added that the shareholding pattern of the proposed venture is yet to be decided but majority of the stake would be with SAIL. He said “They want to use our expertise. We want to capture the market. We will have majority stake in the venture.”

The plant would use gas based DRI technology for making both flat and long products. Oman consumes around 4Mt of steel in a year. However, present annual steelmaking capacity is under 1Mt.