Dubai Aluminium marks 2005 with another stellar all-round performance
For Dubai Aluminium Company DUBAL, one of the world’s largest aluminium producers, 2005 was another year of stellar performance in all its areas of operations including overseas investments, major expansion programs, global awards, and achieving nationalization targets.
The company’s remarkable overall performance in meeting production targets and executing projects well ahead of schedule have yielded substantial benefits and resulted in economies of scale and a remarkable 10% year-on-year increase in profits.
During the year, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister for Finance and Industry and Chairman of Dubai Aluminium Company (DUBAL), approved a 100,000-tonnes capacity expansion plan as part of the 10-year Future Strategic Program.
The expansion project will see the aluminium giant add an additional annual capacity of 100,000 tonnes of hot metal, raising its total hot metal production capacity to 861,000 tonnes per year during the last quarter of 2006. The Phase-1 and Phase-2 expansion plans are being executed at a total cost of USD392 million.
“The year also marked DUBAL’s significant global upstream integration plans including a USD3.6-billion project in association with India’s largest private sector conglomerate the L&T Group for a world class alumina refinery, bauxite mining and development of related infrastructure; a strategic investment worth USD200 million for 25% stake in Global Alumina and a long-term off-take agreement for 40% of the annual production of alumina from Global Alumina's wholly-owned Guinea subsidiary, Guinea Alumina Corporation SA; a 10-year USD32 million agreement with the international shipping company Gearbulk for chartering a specially-built vessel; and international recognition for suggestions from its employees in the form of prestigious awards,” said Mr. Abdullah J. M. Kalban, CEO, DUBAL.
“During the year, hot metal production touched a highest-ever 722,000 tonnes, showing a 6% increase over 2004 when it was 681,000 tonnes. Sales shot up by a record 14% to 850,000 tonnes against 743,000 tonnes the previous year. Power generation went up 9% to 1,350MW against 1,234MW in 2004. The number of nationals in the company stood at 709, registering an 11% increase over the previous year’s 641,” pointed out Mr. Kalban. In fact, more than 65% of the senior managerial position is held by UAE nationals, Mr. Kalban added.
“For 2006, the prospects are even better. We hope to increase sales by 6% to 900,000 tonnes, hot metal production by 8% to 778,000 tonnes and power generation by 9% year-on-year to 1,767MW. The number of UAE nationals in DUBAL will touch a record 806, an increase of 14%,” observed Mr. Kalban.
“Our sales and profit figures were achieved despite tough global competition in the aluminium industry as we had to maneuver ourselves skillfully in the market. However, DUBAL has already made its present felt strongly in the international markets by its quality products and service. Our objective now is to explore new growth avenues to further improve our performance in the coming years. We are already moving in that direction,” Mr. Kalban remarked.
Contribution to local economy.
DUBAL has consistently made significant contribution to Dubai’s economy. In fact 45% of the supplies were sourced locally for the expansion plans and other activities. Overall, DUBAL’s contribution to Dubai’s GDP has been averaging more than 7% annually over the last several years.
DUBAL achieved another impeccable plant-wide record of two million man-hours without any time lost due to accident for three consecutive months during 2005. The 100% government-owned company’s excellent safety programs and procedures are internationally-recognized. In fact, DUBAL has already received the OHSAS 18001 accreditation in September 2003.
Some individual departments at DUBAL have performed extremely well with regard to safety. For example the Power and Desalination Department has worked 3.7 million hours and the Process Control department for 4,162 days without any loss time due to accident.
Environmental protection being very crucial, DUBAL focused its total efforts on zero pollution by closing all the cells during the start-up process. This was done in order to eliminate gas emissions without treating them through the Fume Treatment Plants (FTPs).
During the start up of Potline 7B, DUBAL continue to conducting the benchmarking in terms of the environment with the international standards.
Phase-1 of Potline-7 expansion program at a cost of USD180-million was officially launched in November when it was fully commissioned with all the 120 pots going on stream well ahead of schedule.
“During 2005, DUBAL executed the Potline-7 Phase-1 expansion project at a cost of USD180 million, raising the production capacity to over 761,000 tonnes. With another USD284 million expansion for Phase-2 already approved, DUBAL will raise its production capacity to 861,000 tonnes a year,” said Mr. Kalban.
Potline-7 expansion project was completed in a record time of 14 months and resulted in saving more than USD25 million from the budgeted cost. The project was originally budgeted to cost USD205 million. However, with the expertise of in-house core management professionals, DUBAL was able to complete the project at a cost of USD180 million.
By the end of 2006, Potline-7 B and Potline-9 B will have a combined production capacity of 100,000 tonnes per annum.
DUBAL has developed and tested its own advanced reduction technology to achieve efficient smelting performance, pointed out Mr. Kalban reiterating once again the key role of the in-house technology.
“We also commissioned the USD27-million Casthouse-3 machinery in collaboration with the Italian major 'Properzi' during the year,” said Mr. Kalban.
The 'Properzi' Casthouse enables high quality production from the initial extraction of the raw material, through its molten process, to the final saleable form.
With the successful installation of this ingot casting machine, Casthouse-3 will enjoy a production capacity of 80,000 tonnes a year of hot metal in different alloys that meet individual requirements of customers in Asia, Europe and North America.
© 2006 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)