New CEO in Qatalum

Jan Arve Haugan, head of Hydro’s international smelter portfolio, has taken over as CEO of Qatalum after Truls Gautesen, who has worked the last four years in the project to build one of the world’s most cost-efficient aluminium smelters.

Jan Arve Haugan

​​Jan Arve Haugan

Qatalum is a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and Hydro, and the project is now entering its final construction phase. The smelter is expected to start up around the end of the year, ramping up production towards full capacity at 585,000 tonnes a year during the third quarter of 2010.

"Qatalum is an important industrial development for us and a product of 40 years of cooperation between Hydro and Qatar," says Abdulla Haussain Salatt, chairman of the Qatalum board.

"Gautesen has done a magnificent job in building the organization virtually from scratch and into a well-functioning team ready to start operations, and we are very happy that Haugan, currently a member of our board, is ready to take over as new CEO," he adds.

"It has been an exciting journey, starting with two square kilometres of sand and building this smelter along with a completely new organization. I am very pleased that the board has chosen the highly experienced and equally competent Haugan to guide Qatalum into production," says Truls Gautesen (60), who officially stepped down October 22.

 Jan Arve Haugan (52) has had a broad career in Hydro. He has previously had leading positions in Hydro's former oil and gas business, and played a key role in the expansion of the Sunndal primary aluminium plant in Norway from 2002 to 2004. Until April 2009, he headed Primary Metal's technology area, and until now was of the company's international smelter portfolio.

"I am honored and excited about this opportunity to lead this strong multicultural and multinational team in Qatalum, and we have the best possibilities to succeed with the great team that Gautesen has already established," says Haugan.

"We will now enter into the challenging transition phase between construction and operation with openness, trust and courage," Haugan adds.​

Gautesen will assume Jan Arve Haugan's role in Hydro as head of the Global Smelters sector, reporting to the head of Hydro's Primary Metal business area, Hilde Merete Aasheim.