Vale has begun production at its $1.35bn pelletising plant in the coastal city of Sohar, Oman.

The pelletising plant and distribution centre will serve as a hub for the growing demand of iron ore products in the Middle East, North Africa and India.

The pelletising plant’s two units will each have a nominal capacity of 4.5 million metric tonnes of direct-reduction pellets per year.

Vale formed a partnership with the Omani government through the sale of a 30% stake in the pelletising plant to Oman Oil Company in May last year.