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Wednesday, 15 February 2023

Brazil’s Vale buys back its 30% stake in Vale Oman from OQ

Brazil’s Vale reacquires its shares in Vale Oman: Brazilian mining group Vale repurchased its 30% stake in Vale Oman from Omani state-owned energy investment company OQ, Oman News Agency reports. The acquisition leads Oman-based Vale Oman to be wholly owned by foreign investors. The stake transfer process is expected to be finalized before the end of 2Q 2023.

Will Vale Oman go green? Brazil’s Vale signed an MoU with Oman’s Commerce and Industry Ministry in November to conduct a feasibility study exploring the possibility of establishing a green iron ore pellet mega hub in the country’s Duqm Special Economic Zone. Vale Oman owns and manages an iron ore pelletizing facility through which it produces some 9 mn tons of pellets per annum, and has a distribution center in Oman’s city of Sohar with an export capacity amounting to 40 mn tons of iron ore and pellets annually, according to their website.

So, how is the Vale’s ore green anyway? The company has set out a target to push down their net scope 3 emissions by 15% by 2035, according to Zawya. It currently produces hot briquetted iron using natural gas, which it says contributes 60% less carbon compared to carbon intensive pig iron production methods. Vale is also exploring replacing natural gas with hydrogen in its production — coupled with the use of renewable energy — to help eliminate carbon emissions altogether, Zawya notes, citing Vale’s press release.

“Green steel” hubs are also coming to Saudi Arabia and UAE soon: Vale signed an MoU with Saudi Arabia’s National Industrial Development Center during Saudi Arabia’s Future Investment Initiative in November to study establishing a USD 1.1 bn iron ore pellet mega hub producing some 4 mn tons of iron ore pellets annually in KSA’s Ras Al-Khair industrial zone. The company will also study the feasibility for an iron ore pellet mega hub in Kezad with the UAE’s Steel Arkan.

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