SV Pittie Sohar Textiles launched their textile cluster in Sohar, Oman with the inauguration of the company’s cotton yarn production unit No 1 by H H Sayyid Taimur bin Asad bin Tariq al Said recently.
SV Pittie Sohar Textiles is the subsidiary of Shri Vallabh Pittie Group – one of the largest manufacturers of cotton yarn in India and a global leader in this sector. H H Sayyid Taimur also laid the foundation stone of cotton yarn spinning unit No 3. The invited guests were given a tour of cotton yarn spinning unit No 2, a 500,000 square foot facility, which will be fully operational by April 2019.
Altogether, there will be four state-of-the-art yarn manufacturing units on SV Pittie Sohar campus, covering an area of over 2 million square feet, housing the latest automated spinning technology in the textile industry. With planned completion by November 2019, the units will have 300,000 spindles and 7,000 rotors producing over 100,000 metric tonnes of world class compact cotton yarn.
Chirag Pittie, Managing Director, SVP Group, said, “This endeavour has been challenging but exciting. I am glad we could start production in a record time of approximately eight months. This would not have been possible without the support of our lead engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) partner Inexco under whose supervision we had almost 500 workers and over 100 engineers working 24×7 at site during this period. I would also like to thank the government, contractors, and all supplier partners for their efforts in supporting this mission.”
“Today we feel at home in Oman as we have esteemed stakeholders like Sultan’s Special Forces Pension Fund backing us. Besides, our bankers Bank Sohar, having complete trust and confidence in this project, have been with us in every way to ensure we continue to move forward, unhindered,” he said. Chirag further said, “It seems like yesterday that we held this vision of creating a full-fledged textile cluster in this beautiful country. Today is our first step towards realising this dream, while also igniting what very well could be the next large industry sector for the sultanate. We have brought in the best-in-class machinery and technology and to work on them, we will be training and employing a large number of Omani youth. My special thanks to National Training Fund and its dynamic CEO Sharifa Tahir Aidid, who understood the employment potential of our vision and have extended their partnership to enable us in realising it, in minimum possible time.” Earlier in November, commemorating Oman’s 48th National Day, SV Pittie Sohar Textiles signed a partnership agreement with National Training Fund to train 1,000 Omanis for captive employment in the textile cluster. This comprehensive training programme, followed by guaranteed employment, will have a focus on foundational and technical skills and be especially suitable for Omani youth and women. The SV Pittie Sohar Textiles Training Center will be a world-class programme by itself, building on the company’s vast level of operational experience in the textile industry, and will be partnered with other local training institutes to help them gain value with a common goal in mind: empower the next generation of Omanis and their families.
An integrated textile cluster in Oman
Chirag Pittie believes that their yarn manufacturing facility in Sohar could pave the way for setting up a textile cluster in the region. He said the availability of yarn could make it feasible for setting up fabric units in Oman and thus gradually may lead to setting up of a textile cluster. The company will source inputs from the US, Eastern Africa, Australia. The cotton yarn will find a ready market in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Europe, India and China.
Proximity to ports will be advantageous to bring in raw materials and export the yarn competitively.
“Logistic costs end up playing a very significant role in terms of calculating Ebitda margins in our business. One clear advantage here is the lower energy cost as compared to locations such as India or Bangladesh. Other big advantage is the close proximity to the port, which means we will not have any road logistic costs and that is very expensive in India. All these factors make us confident about improving and maintaining our margins in Oman,” said Chirag. There are talks about building a textile cluster in Oman as the GCC countries import a significant amount of textile products. “The presence of yarn manufacturing, the basic ingredient required for making fabric, could make it feasible for setting up fabric making units, as part of forward integration process. So, once the yarn production facility is in place, which is a capital intensive industry, one can see significantly smaller investments enabling fabric production units. It makes sense also as everyone knew that the demand for textile products in the GCC region is increasing. I believe step-by-step, it could lead toward a textile cluster being set up here,” believes Chirag.
The company is in the very initial stage of exploring the possibility of growing cotton in Oman. “From what we understood, farmers used to grow cotton in Oman but it was stopped as there was no significant demand for the natural fibre. We have a team in India that specialises in cotton cultivation and this team has visited Oman. And the team has carried out initial tests, which showed that it is feasible to cultivate cotton in Oman. We are looking to put some kind of arrangement by which cotton cultivation can be promoted in Oman. In that arrangement, we would give assurance of the complete buyout of the harvest. So, we are trying but things are at very initial stage at present,” informed Chirag.