Metals News
Qatalum Output to Hit 585,000 tpy by Q4
industry news
Mar 17,2010

Mar. 17 (Reuters) -- Qatalum, a joint-venture aluminium plant between Qatar Petroleum and Norsk Hydro is expected to hit its production target of 585,000 tonnes per year (tpy) by the fourth quarter, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

The total cost of developing the project was estimated to have cost about $5.7 billion, Jan-Arve Haugan told Reuters on sidelines of a conference.

'Our ramp up plan to (585,000 tpy) indicates sometime at the end of the third quarter, or early fourth quarter,' he said.

'This will be dependent on the ramp up of the power station which is extremely important.'

The new plant in Qatar will bring total aluminium production in the Arab Gulf to over 3 million tpy, the Gulf Aluminium Council (GAC) said earlier at a press conference.

The marketing and sales of output from the plant would be undertaken by Hydro, with key export markets in Asia, southern Europe and the Americas, Haugan said.

Haugan was also encouraged by project development costs which had come off over the past 18 months due to the global financial crisis.

'The inflation is not as big as it was, so it is a little bit cooler now,' he said. 'We even see more contractors much more eager to complete jobs because this is more or less a reference job for them.'

Haugan said recent moves by China to tighten monetary policy was not a key concern for him at this point.

'I'm not spending too much time or concern about that type of challenge,' he said. 'Because our target is to really compete with ourselves to improve productivity and the cost situation every day.'

China's banks have started to rein in lending to more sustainable levels. 

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