Dubai Aluminum Co., the United Arab Emirates' aluminum producer building the world’s largest smelter, may cut a target to produce 1 million metric tons of aluminum next year because the global financial crisis is reducing demand.
“With these market conditions I think we have to revise it,” Abdullah Kalban, chief executive officer of Dubai Aluminum (Dubal) told reporters at a conference in Dubai on Monday.
Slowing economies have slashed steel demand, damped prices and made mills unprofitable in China, the biggest producer of the metal. Kalban, Norsk Hydro ASA Chief Executive Officer Eivind Reiten and Dick Evans, CEO of Rio Tinto Group’s Alcan Inc., all told a regional aluminum conference demand for the metal is weakening because of the world economic slowdown.
Dubal and its partners in the Emirates Aluminum project in Abu Dhabi are sticking with a plan to build a plant that will produce 700,000 tons of aluminum a year from 2010, Kalban said. A planned second phase to double output is being studied, he said.
Emirates Aluminum had put on hold the plant’s second-phase because of “tough market conditions,” the London-based Middle East Economic Digest reported on Oct. 26.
Dubal’s smelter is producing about 20 percent less than full capacity after a power outage Nov. 2, Kalban conveyed. It will take about six to eight weeks to restore full output of 960,000 tons, he said.
Dubal is ranked world's seventh largest producer of primary aluminium and serves more than 290 clients in 46 countries, predominantly in the Far East, Europe and Southeast Asia. Its current production is pegged at 960,000 tonnes and is expected to hit 1 million tonnes next year.