Sohar Port and Freezone has announced the signing of an agreement with Oman Environmental Services Holding Company (be'ah) for the establishment of modern integrated waste management facilities at the hub. Work will now start on a 240-hectare site that has been earmarked for this key environmental project, close to the recently leased-out first phase of Sohar Freezone.
Chief Executive Officer Tariq Ali al Amri, at Oman Environmental Services Holding Company (be'ah), the Omani utility tasked with restructuring and privatising the solid waste sector, said: "At be'ah, our main objective is to structure the waste sector in a sustainable manner; to eliminate or reduce environmental damage incurred during traditional waste dumping processes; and to support the creation of more in-country value in Oman by developing the waste sector."
He continued: "This new project will develop the infrastructure required to handle any waste and access materials that come out of industries in Sohar in an environmentally sustainable way."
The new integrated facility will be equipped to deal with the large quantities of waste generated annually by the country's burgeoning industrial sector, much of it from Sohar, now one of the region's primary industrial hubs.
Jamal Aziz, Sohar Freezone CEO, said: "Excellent road connectivity in Sohar, as well as future rail links with other industrial hubs in the region, were some of the main factors for locating the treatment plant here."
The integrated industrial waste treatment facility will serve as the cornerstone of industrial waste management infrastructure being developed for Sohar and will include a dedicated waste solidification facility; units for thermal, physical and chemical treatment designed to process different types of industrial waste; as well as landfills.
The facility will treat and process waste with maximum safety in accordance with international standards.
The metals cluster in Sohar creates solid waste, or slag and Freezone CEO Jamal Aziz is particularly excited about one spinoff from the new facilities: "Soon we will be able to recycle industrial slag from our iron and steel production, and use it as aggregate for the new roads we're building in our Freezone -- the technology is world-class and although the initial quantities are small, this will be a significant milestone for our environmental management programme in Sohar."
Sustainable waste management systems aim to reduce the quantity of natural resources consumed and ensure that any resources already taken from nature are reused or recycled many times; the amount of waste produced is kept to a minimum and this leads to a better carbon footprint.
Experts from the Netherlands, embedded in the Sohar Port and Freezone team, work closely with be'ah, Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA), and other stakeholders to ensure that Sohar is always at the forefront of international environmental standards.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, Sohar Port CEO Andre Toet summed up the vision for Oman's waste management when he said: "Behind all the technology and investment we've discussed today, our number one priority is very simple: we want to preserve the environment of this beautiful country Oman and for all generations to come."