Aluminum Bahrain Reports Increase in Production
Aluminum Bahrain (Alba), one of the Middle East's biggest smelters, said its output rose 1.8 percent to 509,690 tons in 2000, and that its new coke calcining plant was due to come on line in the summer.
Reuters quoted Alba's chairman, Oil Minister Sheikh Issa bin Ali Al Khalifa, as saying in an annual report that production of aluminum was 8,769 tons above the 1999 level of 500,921 tons.
He said work to build a 450,000 tons per year coke calcining plant, a water desalination plant and upgraded jetty facilities was had made significant progress, with commissioning expected in the summer of 2001. The project will cost around $400 million.
Bahrain in November approved in principle a $1.7 billion expansion project to raise the smelter's annual production capacity by 250,000 tons to 750,000 tons a year, according to the report.
Production began in 1971 as a 120,000 tons per year smelter, and the company has now grown to its current capacity of 500,000 tonnes per year, making it one of the largest smelters in the world.
There are three shareholders of Alba: the Government of Bahrain (77%); the Saudi Public Investment Fund (20%) and Breton Investments (3%).
Smelting is a power-intensive process, so Alba has developed a highly efficient power plant, utilizing combined-cycle technology, and has a capacity of 1,504 megawatts.
The company now supplies the national grid with up to 275MW of electricity during peak demand, says the company’s website – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)