Officials at the ground-breaking ceremony for the polysilicon factory project.

United Solar Holding, a global developer of clean energy projects, has broken ground on its major polysilicon factory project being set up at an investment of RO520 million ($1.3 billion) within the Sohar Port and Freezone (Sohar).

The landmark project, which is set to be the largest of its kind in the Middle East, will boast an annual production capacity of 100,000 tonnes, said the company.

The foundation stone-laying ceremony was held in the presence of Sultan Salim Al Habsi, Minister of Finance.

Expected to commence operations in 2025, the polysilicon factory represents a critical advancement in the production of high-quality solar panels, semiconductors and modules that will diversify the Omani economy and accelerate industrialisation, aligning seamlessly with Sohar’s drive to foster a green energy sector.

By manufacturing materials that reduce solar panel costs, this project is expected to lower operational expenses within the sector, ultimately leading to decreased energy prices and in turn attract global investments, said the statement.

In addition, the polysilicon factory will further solidify Sohar’s position as a key player in the global trade network, offering access to world markets and attracting downstream industries like solar energy component manufacturing and new modern industries. Amplifying this vision, Sohar Freezone’s strategic location and robust infrastructure offer a compelling value proposition including a bonded corridor to Sohar Port, excellent links to regional markets, a strong maritime network and ample and easy access to Oman’s raw materials and infrastructure, such as utilities, power, and water solutions. Sohar Freezone is home to various industries from 53 countries.  The total investment in the zone in 2023 grew by 30 per cent and land occupancy grew by 19 per cent compared to 2022. With 85 per cent of Phase One fully leased, Phase Two is underway offering a total land area of up to 675 hectares.