Oman and Etihad Rail Company signs deal with mining giant Vale - GulfToday

Oman and Etihad Rail Company signs deal with mining giant Vale


Suhail Al Mazrouei and Elaina Zugaib witness the signing ceremony on Saturday.

Oman and Etihad Rail Company, the developer and operator of the UAE-Oman Rail Network, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Vale, one of the world’s largest mining companies, to explore utilising rail to transport iron ore and its derivatives between the Sultanate of Oman and the UAE, connecting Vale’s industrial complex in Sohar Port and Freezone to its planned mega-industrial complex in the UAE. This 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.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Suhail Bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure and Chairman of Oman and Etihad Rail Company, and Elaina Zugaib, Brazilian Ambassador to the UAE. The MoU was signed by Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi, CEO of the Oman and Etihad Rail Company, and Rogerio Nogueira, Director of Business Development at Vale.

Under the terms of the agreement, both parties will work to develop integrated logistics solutions that connect Vale’s industrial complex in Sohar Port and Freezone and transport the company’s iron ore products and derivatives between the company’s Sohar hub and various factories and distribution centers.

Suhail Bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, 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 the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman, supporting economic growth, continued development and investment in both countries.”

Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi, CEO of the Oman and Etihad Rail Company, added, “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 utilizing the UAE-Oman Railway Network and benefiting from its fast, sustainable, reliable, and cost-effective services.”

Commenting on the MoU, Rogério Nogueira, Product and Operations Manager 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. He added that Vale’s partnership with Oman and Etihad Rail Company 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. Vale, headquartered in Brazil, is one of the largest mining companies globally, operating in five continents. The company is a top producer of iron ore. Vale supported the development of Brazil’s railway network, which spans over 2,000 kilometers, and 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.

The Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ACTVET) and Etihad Rail recently signed an MoU to promote cooperation and exchange knowledge in the field of advanced technologies.

Sheikh Theyab Bin Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Etihad Rail, witnessed the signing ceremony.

The MoU aims to utilise the latest 3D printing technologies that use recycled materials supervised by young Emirati students and graduates from ACTVET.

Under the MoU, the two parties will establish new collaboration streams in regard to designing and producing environmentally-friendly materials using the latest technologies, by qualifying young citizens, in line with supporting government sustainability initiatives and national competencies specialised within the industrial sector.

The use of recycled materials helps companies achieve their sustainability goals by improving resource efficiency, enhancing the environment by reducing waste from production and manufacturing processes and protecting natural resources.

Sustainable use of materials can also improve long-term profitability by reducing costs associated with materials waste and minimising pollution.

3D printing technology allows the production of parts and components with high precision, speed and lower costs compared to traditional methods of manufacturing, and saves energy by reducing the number of steps required to operate the equipment needed to produce manufacturing moulds, tools and equipment.

Construction on the network expansion began in January 2020 to connect the emirates spanning across the entire UAE, from Ghuwaifat on the border with Saudi Arabia to Fujairah on the eastern coast. In February 2023, the UAE National Rail Network was inaugurated following its completion whilst also marking the launch of freight operations in the UAE. The National Rail Network now links all emirates, connecting residential, industrial, and commercial centres with four key ports across the UAE.

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