THE Oman and Etihad Rail Company (OERC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with integrated steel producer Jindal Shadeed Iron and Steel (Jindal) to carry four million tonnes of freight annually between Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

This includes transporting raw materials to Jindal’s steel production complex at Sohar Port in Oman and moving finished steel products to markets in the UAE.

OERC is currently developing a 303km railway from Sohar to Abu Dhabi in the UAE. Tendering for civil works, including tunnels and freight facilities, began in March. The project is expected to cost a total of $US 3bn.

Under the terms of the agreement, OERC will use its rail network to support Jindal in optimising operational integration through facilitated loading and unloading processes while guaranteeing the provision of rolling stock and facilities for the transport of iron ore and steel.

“This is an important milestone for our company as we look forward to further expanding the reach of our high-quality, industry-leading products in the region and beyond,” says Jindal CEO, Mr Harsha Shetty. “Our ability to seamlessly transport nearly 4 million tons of raw materials will greatly help us in our operations, supporting our ambition to reduce our carbon footprint.”