From 14 to 16 March, top regional executives gathered at The Westin Hotel in Dubai to evaluate MENA's foothold in the global aluminium market and identify opportunities and challenges ahead. The comprehensive agenda also covered the forward pricing of aluminium, market opportunities and challenges ahead.
Qatalum Business Support Group Manager Jan Øyri took part in the Opening Keynote Panel on day one, discussing 'MENA's foothold in the global aluminium market and identifying the opportunities and challenges ahead'. Together with other top executives in the regional industry, Øyri highlighted the region's progress in building a sustainable aluminium industry through the upstream, midstream and downstream industries; looked at overcoming potential pitfalls related to liquidity, energy availability and market saturation. Comments were made on what is needed in the region to stay competitive, focusing on strategies and collaborative approaches to differentiate MENA from the global competition.
Speaking of the importance of such events, Øyri said: "For the past two years Qatalum has been working on improving its status in the aluminium industry, and our success is based on our ability to identify and respond to the demands of the industry. Through the effective use of leading technology and expertise, Qatalum is growing into a sustainable economic catalyst that is at the heart of turning Qatar's gas energy into a valuable commodity and we are well on our way to creating a strong, knowledge-based industry. By sharing our experiences and our vision for the future through events such as this, we aim to be an important part of the development of the industry not only in Qatar and the region, but globally as well."
The Middle East is emerging as a significant new primary aluminium producer, GCC countries are rich in the energy resources required to produce aluminium. Over the past ten years, GCC member states have begun implementing long-term strategies that aim to develop the region's aluminium industry, and the region is now well positioned to be one of the world's main aluminium producers. In 2000, the GCC share of global aluminium production was 1.8 million metric tonnes per annum. By 2008, this figure had risen to 2.2 million metric tonnes per annum (5.4% of global production), and in 2012 this amount is expected to almost double, reaching 10 percent of global production.
The Middle East Aluminium conference consistently attracts the most senior professionals in the industry from the region and beyond, and the fifth edition was no exception, bringing together aluminium sector leaders and senior decision makers driving the sector's growth, and offering delegates a chance to network and engage with leading producers, fabricators, traders, end-users, energy providers, raw materials producers, financiers and consultants from across the region and beyond.