Abu Dhabi’s Al Dahra has partnered with Indian firm Kohinoor for a rice processing joint venture, and the two firms broke ground on the site of their US$38m facility at the end of November. The 100,000 square-metre plant will be based in Kizad, already home to a number of major food producers, including BRF and NFPC.
Food security contribution
“[The] Al Dahra Kohinoor facility will ensure the sustainable and undisrupted supply of essential food commodities into the emirate and we are eager to launch operations by the second quarter of 2016,” said Khadim Abdulla Al Darei, vice chairman and managing director of Al Dahra Holding.
“This facility in Kizad will act as a logistics hub for rice distribution across the GCC allowing us to expand our efforts in offering quality and variety of rice at sustainable and affordable prices to consumers,” he added.
Al Dahra Kohinoor said the mill will have a capacity of 80,000 tonnes of rice a year. The plant, set to open in the second quarter of 2016, will be able to mill, pack and distribute rice to the region, and will have a storage capacity of 50,000 tonnes.
“Currently, we rely on imports for as much as 85% of the country’s food consumption. Abu Dhabi Ports is also trying to contribute to the UAE leadership’s long-term objective of achieving the maximum self-reliance in food production,” said Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Kizad’s parent organisation Abu Dhabi Ports.
“Our role at Abu Dhabi Ports is to support the food industry and businesses such as Al Dahra Kohinoor in their efforts to source food-produce locally,” he added.
Sohar bags another processor
In Oman, India’s Usher Agro has established a joint venture with Al Mada Project Management and Sohar Food Cluster Co to build a US$40m rice and pulses hub in Sohar Port. The facility will be able to process 100,000 tonnes of rice, and the same volume of pulses, a year, and will also contain a 25,000 tonne rice fortification facility, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
“The proposed food logistics and processing hub at the Port of Sohar will provide a unique opportunity for the new [joint venture] in a strategic location, capitalising on direct access to agro/food berth and proximity to many export markets in the GCC and the MENA region,” said Essa al Ghurair, managing director of Sohar Food Cluster.
Sohar has recently launched an ambitious push to become a regional hub for food imports, and potentially food processing. It is pitching its position outside of the Strait of Hormuz as an advantage for shippers looking to cut transit times, and is in the process of building a grain and rice terminal, along with a flour mill, and aluminium and PET production facilities.