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DUBAL maintains focus on Europe for strategic growth.

Despite the difficult trading circumstances that characterised 2009, as a result of the global economic recession, Dubai Aluminium Company Limited ("DUBAL") -- the entirely state-owned enterprise that owns and operates the world's largest modern smelter with a captive power station -- sold a record 1,001,257 metric tonnes of cast primary aluminium products internationally. Approximately 24 per cent of the total volume was shipped to Europe, effectively maintaining DUBAL's market share in the region.

Sultan Al Sabri (General Manager Marketing & Sales: Europe & North America) attributes this success to a number of factors, notably a concerted effort by DUBAL to support its customers throughout the downturn via initiatives such as altering the supply chain; placing consignment stock in warehouses closer to customers; developing creative solutions for order placement and delivery; and availing flexible credit options. The DUBAL office in Zurich, establish ed in 2008, also contributed substantially, by enabling the company to gain deeper understanding of the changing dynamics far quicker than before. "These strategic interventions, designed to build on our existing long-standing customer relationships, strengthened DUBAL's position in the market," says Al Sabri. "Having weathered the storm strongly, we have demonstrated DUBAL's sustainability, and are more confident than ever of our ability to increase sales volumes to this important market in the future."

In this regard, Al Sabri believes that the volumes of DUBAL metal sold into Europe will be raised to 27 per cent of the company's projected total sales in 2010 (projected to exceed one million tonnes again). Not to mention the incremental increase in the volume of primary aluminium products offered to the market by DUBAL as of this year, on behalf of the Emirates Aluminium ("EMAL") smelter development project in the Al Taweelah area of Abu Dhabi (in which DUBAL has a 50 per cent share). Although construction work is ongoing, start-up of the 750,000 metric tonnes per year EMAL Phase 1 began in December 2009 -- four months ahead of schedule. It is estimated that EMAL will produce 260,000 metric tonnes of finished product in 2010, ramping up to full capacity in 2011. Complementing DUBAL, the EMAL product mix will comprise extrusion billet, pure and high purity aluminium, and slab products.

With these intentions in mind, DUBAL will leverage the industry platform offered by the biennial 8th Metef International Aluminium Exhibition ("Metef 2010"), which takes place at the Garda Exhibition Centre, Brescia, Italy from 14 to 17 April. DUBAL will have a joint exhibition stand with EMAL, with a view to maximising the opportunities for strengthening relationships with existing DUBAL customers while targeting new segments of the market in terms of EMAL products. Metef, which coincides with Foundeq Europe, was established in 1997 and offers an excellent forum for liaising with European customers as well as to network with other exhibitors and potential customers. Accordingly, the DUBAL-EMAL stand will be manned by a team of officials representing both companies, who will promote their individual facilities and joint product portfolio to delegates and participants during the exhibition.In addition, DUBAL will promote its advanced, proprietary DX Reduction Technology that has been specified for EMAL. Operating stably at higher amperages (approximately 370 kA), DX Reduction Technology cells offer increased productivity, improved energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact compared to lower amperage technologies. The company will also expand on the new information technology-based services that it plans on launching soon. "We will be introducing a web-based customer portal in the near future, which will not only bring a wide range of services within a mouse-click of our customers but also enhance our communications with these vital stakeholders in our business," says Al Sabri.

"As in prior years, our primary objective in participating at Metef 2010 is to raise awareness in the industry of DUBAL as a stable, world-class producer of primary aluminium," continues Al Sabri. "Our company has been active in the European market since 1996. Over the years, we have more than demonstrated the benefits of our geographic location in the Middle East while developing a comprehensive infrastructure of discharge port facilities and warehouses that, together, enable Just-In-Time deliveries to end-users of our products across Europe. Naturally, the EMAL products we will be marketing will benefit from these existing structures, systems and services, ensuring a win-win scenario for all concerned." 2010 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

2009 Al Bawaba (Albawaba.com)

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Publication:Albawaba.com
Date:Apr 13, 2010
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