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Alba CEO expects aluminium consumption to rise in GCC.

MANAMA: Alba's $3 billion Line 6 expansion project will lift GCC's total production to roughly 10 per cent of the global aluminium output, the company's chief executive Tim Murray told Oxford Business Group in an interview.

The project will boost the Bahrain-based smelter's per-annum production by 540,000 tonnes, taking its total capacity to 1.5 million tonnes per year and that of the GCC as a whole to 6m tonnes, Mr Murray said while talking to Oxford Business Group's online broadcasting channel Global Platform.

According to Mr Murray, GCC's increased total annual production will be equivalent to roughly 10pc of the global aluminium output.

"The world is consuming around 60m tonnes," he noted.

"China alone consumes 35m tonnes. If you look at the production footprint, the GCC is the next biggest market, with 6m tonnes out of 25m tonnes consumed outside of China. A lot of it is being consumed in the GCC and a lot of it is being exported."

Mr 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 12pc 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".

"Typically, the ripple is four to one in manufacturing," he explained, "so if you have a steel or aluminium plant manufacturing around you, you have another four jobs with it."

With efficiency a priority for the industrial sector, Mr Murray told OBG 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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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:May 30, 2018
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