Oman currently imports 70% of its dairy products, and Mazoon Dairy aims to reduce this to 10%.
Its US$260 million facility in Al Sunaynah can produce one million litres of milk daily, with plans to increase to 200 million litres of milk annually by 2026, and 900 million liters by 2040.
The firm, founded in 2015, currently houses 3,400 cows and expect to grow to 25,000 by 2026.
Dr Salah al Shanfari, CEO of Oman Food Investment Holding Company spoke at the official ceremony: “We will roll out the distribution of fresh milk across Muscat and Sohar on October 20. This represents the largest population demographic in the Sultanate. This will be followed by a roll-out across other cities like Ibri, Dhofar and so on.”
The firm plans to launch a full range of products in the upcoming period, including fresh milk (plain), fresh milk (flavoured), fresh cream, fresh laban, fruit yoghurts and desserts, fresh cheese and ice cream.
In an official statement, HE Dr Rashid bin Salim al Masroori, chairman of Mazoon Dairy Company said: “This is a historic moment in the food security sector, and it will undoubtedly enhance the Sultanate's reputation in this vital industry. We are optimistic about the national momentum of the project, which demonstrates the loyalty of the Omani community to Omani products.”
Mazoon Dairy Company is one of the largest projects in the Sultanate, with investments from the Oman Food Investment Company, the Oman Investment Fund, Oman Dairy Products and Derivatives, the Civil Service Pension Fund, Al Hosn Investment Company and the Royal Office Pension Fund totaling capital of OMR 100 million (US$260 million).
It was created in line with Oman’s strategy to achieve self-sufficiency in the food sector and produce farm fresh dairy that are available to customers a few hours after production.
Waste to energy
Besides the dairy farm, the facility also consists of a waste water treatment plant and a biogas generation plant. It converts treated cow waste to generate gas as an alternative energy source. It is scheduled to begin operations in October.
According to the firm’s corporate affairs manager, Yousuf bin Khamis Al-Fazari who told The National: “The 12,000 cows used in the first phase are expected to produce about 225 tonnes of fertiliser every day.”
He said it was the first biogas facility in the region to use cow waste.
The firm also said with the increase in number of cows at the farm, the plant will eventually reduce its reliance on fossil fuel.
Hazza bin Abdullah Al Yahya, a member of the dairy's projects and maintenance team said: “Mazoon Dairy is also committed to managing other waste produced at the site, such as plastic in the factory, and plans to recycle treated water from the sewage plant for irrigation in the facilities."