Metals News
Major Middle East Aluminium Projects
smm insight
Mar 4,2011

LONDON, March 3 (Reuters) - Recent unrest in the Middle East and North Africa will not put off investment in new aluminium projects in the region and energy-intensive production will continue to grow apace with cheap power a big incentive.

Below are details of some of the plants which have recently started up in the Gulf states and others which are planned in coming years.


Emirates Aluminium (EMAL) (Mubadala Development Company and Dubai Aluminium) is looking to double capacity at its new smelter to 1.4 million tonnes per year (tpy). The plant came on stream in 2010.

At one point, the expansion had been mooted to start up in 2013/14. This expansion is said to be preferred to involvement in an earlier proposed greenfield smelter in King Abdullah Economic City in Saudi Arabia.


Aluminium Bahrain has mooted plans to expand capacity at its Knuff smelter to 1.2 million tpy from more than 860,000. But go-ahead has not yet been given.


Various projects have been mooted in the past. But there has been no recent news with sanctions likely hampering progress.


Sohar Aluminium (Oman Oil, Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority and Rio Tinto (RIO.L: Quote) (RIO.AX: Quote)) has mooted plans for a 360,000 tpy expansion to double capacity. But it is currently on hold pending gas availability. The first phase of the smelter came on stream in 2008.


Qatalum (Norsk Hydro (NHY.OL: Quote) and Qatar Petroleum) plans to double capacity from 585,000 tpy, but no timing as yet. The first phase of the plant started up in late 2009.


Maaden and Alcoa's (AA.N: Quote) 740,000 tpy smelter is on track and expected on stream in 2013. Complex will also include a bauxite mine and alumina refinery.

A separate 1.0 million tpy project was planned by Chalco (2600.HK: Quote) (601600.SS: Quote), MMC and a Saudi consortium in Jizan Economic City. There has been no recent news on the project.

EMAL had proposed a new 700,000 tpy smelter in King Abdullah Economic City, but appears instead to be focusing on an expansion at its new plant in Abu Dhabi.

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