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Oman firm in deal with Tate & Lyle Sugars to build $200m refinery

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An Omani company and Britain's Tate & Lyle Sugars, part of American Sugar Holdings (ASR Group), has signed an agreement with Oman's port of Sohar to build a $200 million sugar refinery there.

Company officials said construction of the sugar refinery, the country's first, by South African builder Bosch Projects would start in the third quarter of this year.

"It will produce 1 million tons of sugar per year. It will start production by the end of 2015," Ashwin Rana, project director of the newly established Oman Sugar Refinery Co, told Reuters on Sunday. He said the firm was a joint venture of local businessman Nasser Al Hosni and Tate & Lyle Sugars.

The company hopes to export some of its production. Oman is eager to diversify its economy beyond oil and gas; in addition to an oil refinery, the industrial area at its northern port of Sohar houses an iron pelletizing plant and an aluminum smelter.