SFZ Project to boost local gypsum business

May 7, 2013

USG-Zawawi Drywall to start commercial production in 2014 
By Kaushalendra Singh

SALALAH – With a projected investment of $ 37 million, the USG-Zawawi Drywall LLC has signed an agreement to start a project in the Salalah Free Zone (SFZ). The company has already started detailed engineering process and placed orders for $16 million worth of gypsum board processing equipment, as the company’s commercial production is likely to start from the first quarter of 2014.

The venture is likely to give a value addition to local gypsum business and 180 new jobs in the Salalah Free Zone.

The Zawawi Minerals LLC had established joint ventures with US-based USG Group (USG Corporation) for gypsum board manufacturing project in the Salalah Free Zone. The gypsum board project joint venture is being set up the investments equally shared by the Zawawi Minerals and the USG Group.

The manufacturing plant, which is to be set up in the Salalah Free Zone, will be designed to achieve a capacity of 8 million square meters of gypsum board per annum in the first phase. In the second phase the gypsum board capacity may be scaled up to 16 million square meters per year in accordance with future demand.

According to Awadh Salim al Shanfari, the Chief Executive of the Salalah Free Zone, in June 2012 the free Zone signed a SUA with the USG-Zawawi Drywall LLC.

“The USG group is the third largest producer of gypsum boards in the world. The USGZawawi Drywall LLC manufacturing facility will support the development of new industrial activities and employment in Oman Salalah Free Zone”.

“Under the Joint venture project, the USG Corporation brings with them world class expertise in gypsum board manufacturing technologies perfected over its 100 years of experience in the industry. As a additional element, USG Corporation will transfer world class American technologies and skills into the Omani operations of gypsum board manufacturing, thereby contributing to the nation’s industrial competence,” he said incorporated in 1901, the USG Corporation is a listed company on New York Stock Exchange and operates in multibillion dollar gypsum manufacturing and distribution of high-performance building systems like gypsum wallboard, joint products and compound and a vast array of related products for the construction and remodeling industries.

The USG Corporation is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of gypsum boards, ceiling suspension grids and ceiling tile. The USG’s family of products provides creative building solutions that set new standards for productivity and efficiency, helping contractors and architects deliver high quality and innovative designs.

The USG Industry’s leading brands are interior Panels and Substrate: Sheetrock Brand Gypsum Board, Durock Cement Board and Securock Glass-Mat Sheathing Warren Buffet are USG’s largest shareholder with around 34 per cent stake.

Ali Talbouk, Salalah Free Zone’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer Commercial, said: “The gypsum board manufacturing facility will be set up in the Salalah Free Zone adopting American environmental friendly manufacturing technology complying with all applicable national and international standards related to safety and environmental quality measures.”

The project will be providing employment for over 180 people directly. The products manufactured with world class American technology will be marketed as Sheetrock Brand Gypsum Board with made-in-Oman branding, thereby enhancing the Omani industrial brand image in the international markets. Since part of the production will be used in the Sultanate as import substitute, the local vendors and contractors along with design consultants will have the advantage of using the product manufactured in Oman, thereby also resulting in development of related downstream industry,” he said.