(MENAFN - Times of Oman) Gulf International Pipe Industry (GIPI) announced yesterday the official grand opening ceremony of its manufacturing facility at Sohar Industrial Estate under the auspices of Dr. Mohammed bin Hamad bin Saif Al Rumhi, the Minister of Oil & Gas.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by a large number of high profile guests consisting of their excellencies, walis, sheikhs of Sohar and nearby villages, dignitaries and representatives from various government and private sector establishments as well as company shareholders and board members.
The guest of honour unveiled the inauguration stone and officiated the ribbon-cutting. Thereafter, Dr. Al Rumhi and the delegations toured the manufacturing facilities classified in the league of heavy industries in Oman and the GCC region.
The total investment in the GIPI Manufacturing facility stood at 112.5 million with a production capacity of over 250,000 tonnes a year. The construction of the manufacturing plant was completed on time and within projected budget. It achieved production milestone just 20 months after its ground-breaking ceremony that was held on April 15, 2008.
"We are very happy to be celebrating the grand opening of our manufacturing facility," stated Sheikh Abdullah bin Salim Al Salmi, Chairman of GIPI in his opening speech.
"We are confident this enterprise will yield highly beneficial results for GIPI and contribute to sustainable economic development in the Sultanate of Oman through the creation of employment opportunities and the diversification of its manufacturing industries," he added.
Al Salmi thanked all lenders who participated in the project QNB, GIB, BankMuscat and Bank Sohar and also extended thanks to both the major EPC contractors (Milltech & JK of South Korea) and all other contractors for their timely delivery of the project
GIPI manufactures high grade carbon steel pipes and casing within an outside diameter range of 8-24 inches and capability for wall thickness of up to 25mm or one inch and pipe length of up to 18 metres. The pipe manufacturing process utilizes state-of-the-art Fifth Generation Mill technology. The coating facilities are also being commissioned and capable of both internal and 3 layer external coating.
GIPI is also equipped with professional in-house laboratory services offering full range of inspection and testing in accordance with international industry standards and can perform independent testing per UKAS certification on ISO/IEC 17025.
Hamdan Al Shaqsy, CEO GIPI, said, "The inauguration of this manufacturing facility displays the synergistic results of our dynamic partnership with all stakeholders. This mill will further enhance the Sultanate's aspiration for reducing dependency on import of finished products needed to service its strategic Oil and Gas sectors, and will place the nation as the first country in the entire MENA region and the Indian sub-continent to produce 24" ERW high pressure pipes"
GIPI, at full strength, will employ over 114 employees, but offshoot services to GIPI are also expected to generate at least another 100 additional employment opportunities. Omanisation is currently at 41 per cent.
Al Shaqsy added that GIPI has excelled in its Omanisation drive by taking on Omani trainees who successfully completed intensive training program at the company facilities in Sohar.
With the scheduled intake of 20 more young Omani technical college graduates during this first quarter of 2010, GIPI expects to exceed the Omanisation quota set for new industries right from first day of operations and is fully determined to Omanise most of the jobs within five years of starting operations.
The Shareholders of GIPI are Oman Investment Corporation (OIC) 30 per cent, Golden Dunes Investments (GDI) 30 per cent, Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) based in Kuwait 20 per cent, Posco Steel Service and Sales Company based in Korea 15 per cent and Arkan Group five per cent.