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Tue 29 May 2018 02:00 PM

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Alba eyes 25% of GCC aluminium output after $3bn investment

CEO Tim Murray says Bahrain firm aims to operate the biggest single-site facility in the world

Alba eyes 25% of GCC aluminium output after $3bn investment

Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) will have the capacity to produce 1.5 million metric tonnes (mt), or 25 percent of total output across the GCC, once its $3bn Line 6 Expansion Project is complete, according to CEO Tim Murray.

In an interview with Oxford Business Group’s online broadcasting channel, Global Platform, Murray said the new line, which will make Alba the biggest single-site facility in the world, is set to take the GCC’s total production to around 6 million mt a year, equivalent to roughly 10 percent of the global aluminium output.

“The world is consuming around 60 million mt,” he said. “China alone consumes 35 million mt. If you look at the production footprint, the GCC is the next biggest market, with 6 million mt out of 25 million mt consumed outside of China. A lot of it is being consumed in the GCC and a lot of it is being exported.”

Murray added that Bahrain’s strategic location next to Saudi Arabia meant businesses keen to tap this rapidly expanding market could do so while saving on the logistics and transport when using Alba.

“We are 12 percent of the GDP of the country and growing, so it’s a critical part of the economy,” he noted.

The CEO added that the industrial sector’s capacity for generating new employment opportunities also gave aluminium, along with other segments, an edge, supporting a broader drive evident in the country to generate “a steady manufacturing-base”.

Murray said that implementing best-of-the-art technologies had a key part to play in reducing energy consumption and supporting environmental friendliness.

“We should be more encouraged to put in new smelters and maybe close down some of the older inefficient smelters,” he said.

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