Construction starts on polysilicon production facility in Oman

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From pv magazine Global

United Solar Polysilicon (FZC) SPC has started building a polysilicon production facility at the Sohar Port and Freezone, a deep-sea port midway between Dubai and Oman’s capital, Muscat.

Local press in Oman reports the project’s investment exceeds $1.35 billion. Expected to be operational sometime next year, the plant will occupy an area of 160,000 square meters and produce 100,000 metric tons of high-quality metallurgical silicon annually.

The plant’s production process will involve pouring liquid metallic silicon from a furnace into molds, then cooling, casting, grinding and packing the ore for global export.

According to a statement released on the Omani government’s press website, the project reflects the government’s “keenness to encourage local investment and attract foreign investors”, and reflects part of the objectives of Oman Vision 2040, a unit of economic and social planning in the country.

Oman’s Undersecretary for Commerce and Industry at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Investment Promotion, Saleh bin Said Masan, billed the project as the first of its kind in the Middle East and said the project holds the promise of a more sustainable future for the Sohar Port and Freezone by increasing handling capacity in the years to come.

“This polysilicon project will enhance the status of the Sohar Port and Freezone as a global trade hub. Furthermore, it represents a significant achievement in the region’s economic growth and diversification, meeting the growing demand for metallurgical silicon in the markets of Asia, Europe, and North America,” he said.

The announcement follows news that in January, Chinese solar material manufacturer Shuangliang Eco-Energy Co announced it received a $58.3 million equipment order from United Solar Polysilicon (FZC) SPC and will supply polycrystalline silicon reduction furnaces, hydrogen production equipment, and refrigeration units for the plant.

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