Sohar Freezone gets largest ever auto assembly floor
The construction of a jointless, steel-fibre reinforced concrete, industrial floor, the biggest ever laid in the Sultanate, marked the successful delivery of a new automotive finishing facility in SOHAR Freezone.
Representatives from Nissan Motor Company, the world’s sixth largest automobile manufacturer, represented in Oman by Suhail Bahwan Automotive, were on hand to see the final touches being put to a high-tech concrete slab, which forms the base of their 150,000 square metre plant in the Freezone. The management and technical teams from SOHAR Port and Freezone also attended the on-site ‘deminar’ yesterday evening, led by industrial flooring specialists Twintec.
A spokesperson for Suhail Bahwan explained that the large panel, jointless floor slab offers Nissan significant benefits compared to traditionally reinforced saw-cut concrete floors. Not only is construction time significantly shorter, maintenance costs will also be reduced and business efficiencies increased.
He explained that the Nissan project is the first in the Sultanate to introduce the innovative Co-Sinus construction joint that provides a smooth ride for material handling equipment moving across the floor. “This reduces wear and tear on our vehicles and allows them to operate at their most efficient speeds,” he concluded.
SOHAR Freezone CEO, Jamal Aziz, says: “As the automotive cluster in SOHAR Freezone continues to grow apace, it is great to see the latest technologies being adopted by our tenants. The huge demands that a large car plant places on its flooring requires not only technical knowledge but also world-class technology, if you want to build a sustainable solution.”
Based near Rugby in the UK, Twintec is no newcomer to the global automotive industry, with flagship construction projects that include flooring slabs for the new Renault assembly unit in Tangiers, Morocco; the Volkswagen plant in Sydney, Australia; and the BMW factory in Rosslyn, South Africa.
Speaking about the new floor’s environmental credentials, an important aspect of the assessment of every new project in SOHAR Freezone, technical and commercial director of Twintec, Tom Menary, says: “We always seek to minimise the environmental impact of our operations, which is why our slab designs champion the use of cement replacement and minimise the use of heavy steel bar reinforcement; this improves the whole-life environmental performance of our projects.”