Oman’s one-billion-dollar Sohar aluminum smelter, promoted by the Abu Dhabi and Omani governments, is set to be commissioned by 2003, a senior official at the Doha-based Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) said.
"Another two smelter projects are being proposed for Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Even with all these capacities coming up, there should not be over-supply situation," Abdul Wahab Al Sadoun, told the Gulf News.
"At projected global demand growth of 3.5 percent annually, the Gulf can have two more smelter projects if necessary. Access to cheap gas ensures high cost advantages for Gulf producers," he said.
The Gulf states produce about one million tones annually. Dubai Aluminum (Dubal) and Aluminum Bahrain (Alba) are the major players.
An estimated seven percent of the 7,400 factories in the Gulf are in the aluminum and allied industries, said the paper.
According to an earlier report by the paper, Saudi Arabia at the end of 1998 had the highest number of aluminum of projects estimated at 165, followed by the UAE with 85 and Bahrain with 70 – Albawaba.com