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GCC's share of global aluminium production may hit 10% by 2010

posted on 16/04/2006: 667 views



The Gulf states' share of global aluminium production could reach 10 per cent by 2010, according to the latest study by the Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting (GOIC). The report says primary aluminium production has steadily increased in the past three decades from 0.9 per cent in 1975 to 4.9 per cent in 2005. It says that due to the current expansion of the existing smelters and development of new plants, the GCC countries' share could jump to around 10 per cent by 2010.



The report also says that the capacity build up is likely to exceed 3.75 million tonnes per annum by 2010 when the new smelters are commissioned in Oman, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and when the planned expansion programme of Alba with installation of the sixth pot line is implemented. The capacity will further increase if the long-term plan of Dubal is realised to achieve 1.5 metric tonnes per year by 2011.



The GCC states made notable progress in the production of rolled and extruded products. They have almost attained self-sufficiency in these semi-finished aluminium products. For extruded products, they meet regional requirements and export 40 per cent of the production. More than 80 per cent of cold-rolled products are exported. Yet they still import 55,000 tonnes annually of rolled products, mostly foil and coated flat products.



The UAE comes first in aluminium secondary metal product firms (80), followed by Saudi Arabia (5), Bahrain (2) and one each in Kuwait, Oman and Qatar. Due to the expansion in the construction sector, several extrusion plants have been set up in several GCC states.



There are 22 major extrusion plants in the region with a total production capacity of 300,000 tonnes annually, and capacity utilisation exceeds 88 per cent. Most of the plants have anodising, powder coating and painting facilities. About 60 per cent of the extruded products are used in the GCC and the balance is exported.



The number of aluminium-based industries reached 496 with investments exceeding US$950 million and a labour force of more than 24,000. Of these industries, 16 are engaged in coating, 8 in barrel making, 12 in foil production and more than 400 in fabricated items such as doors and windows, to meet the requirements of the booming construction sector in the region.



The average imports and exports of aluminium products in the GCC for the last four years, the report says, rose to 407,490 tonnes annually and more than 1.1 million tonnes annually, respectively. Thus, the GCC region as a whole is a net exporter of aluminium products.



Bahrain and the UAE are the net exporters, and all other states are net importers. There are 22 major extrusion plants in the region with a total production capacity of 300,000 tonnes per annum, and capacity utilisation exceeds 88 per cent. The capacity build-up will increase if the long-term plan of Dubal is realised to achieve 1.5 million metric tonnes per year by 2011. (Gulf News)

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