Bahrain on Sunday, September 23, approved a $1.7-billion expansion project for Aluminum Bahrain (Alba) that will increase production by 50 percent over the next three years, the official GNA news agency said.
The project will see Alba's annual production increase to 750,000 tons from the current 500,000 tons by 2004 and include the construction of a power station with a 650-megawatt capacity, GNA said.
The project, funded by Alba shareholders and bank loans, will create 7,000 jobs, according to government figures.
Alba is 77-percent owned by the Bahraini government, 20 percent by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund and three percent by the German group Breton Investments.
The company has lost its place as the Middle East's largest aluminum producer to Dubai Aluminum (Dubal) in the United Arab Emirates, whose total output is 536,000 tons a year.
GNA added that the Bahraini government also approved on Sunday a project for the construction of a port worth $500 million. ― (AFP, Manama)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )