Bahrain's efforts to diversify its economy away from the oil sector have proven successful in recent years. Aluminum Bahrain Company (Alba) represents one such successful diversification effort.
In his inaugural speech at the seminar on investment in the aluminum industry, Bahrain Oil and Industry Minister, Sheikh Isa ben Ali Al-Khalifa disclosed that last year Alba's contribution to national GDP hit 15 percent. Accordingly, the local aluminum giant injected approximately $135 million of VAT into the Bahraini economy, Akhbar Al-Khaleej Daily reported. Almost forty percent of Alba's production is directed to the local market, and the balance is exported.
Alba is currently considering the expansion of its capacity to 750,000 tons per year, via a total investment of $1.7 billion. If accomplished, Alba would become the world's second largest aluminum smelter. Fifteen new investment opportunities, with a combined overall value of $370 million, were also discussed at the seminar.
Arab Gulf aluminum smelters' production totals nearly 1 million tons, with production expected to grow by 30 percent in the coming five years to reach a new total of 1.3 million tons per annum. (albawaba.com news agency)
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