Haugan: We expect to reach full capacity by end of first quarter 2011
The exhibition, organised by Metal Bulletin Events, followed on the heels of the Board Meeting of the Gulf Aluminium Council (GAC), which was held on 19 September 2010 at the Gulf Hotel, and followed the restart of primary aluminium production at the Qatalum plant on 15 September. The GAC Board comprises of the CEOs of the six founding member companies: Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), Dubai Aluminium Company (Dubal), Emirates Aluminium (Emal), Sohar Aluminium (Sohar) in Oman, the Saudi Mining Company (Ma'aden) and Qatar Aluminium (Qatalum).
Qatalum CEO Jan Arve Haugan attended the GAC meeting, where he gave a presentation summarising the development of Qatalum, as well as a synopsis of recent events and an update on restart and current and expected operations. He indicated that Qatalum is expected to reach full capacity by the end of the first quarter 2011 and thanked regional players for their support.
The annual International Aluminium Conference is one of the top events on the international aluminium calendar, and offers delegates unrivalled networking opportunities. This year's event brought together an international audience of some 500 senior aluminium executives from around the world. Qatalum was a Silver Sponsor of the event, and the company focused on highlighting its environmental soundness, as well as making available marketing and other informative material for visitors interested in learning more.
Speaking of the Conference, CEO Jan Arve Haugan said, "Qatalum recently resumed production and we look forward to regaining our position as a leader in the Gulf for operational excellence, high-quality aluminium products and environmental performance."
Haugan was part of a Middle East producer panel entitled "An update on smelter projects from Abu Dhabi to Saudi Arabia". In addition to talks and panel discussions, there were also optional field trips for those who attended the conference.
"The International Aluminium Conference is a very prestigious event in the industry," said Haugan, "and we were able to meet and network with industry players and provide them with an update on Qatalum's operations. We firmly believe in the importance of events such as this to the future of the regional and global industry, and this is why we decided to sponsor the event."
With Qatalum's first phase production capacity of 585,000 tonnes per annum of primary aluminium, Qatar will be responsible for a significant portion of GCC aluminium production. The greenfield smelter is one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly smelters in the world, due to the excellent recyclability of aluminium and the company's implementation of Hydro's leading-edge, low environmental impact technology.
The International Aluminium Conference attracts hundreds of aluminium executives from around the globe and from all segments of the industry – from bauxite miners and alumina refiners, to smelters, recyclers, fabricators, end-users, traders, bankers and service companies. It presents an excellent platform for those in the industry to meet and discuss what is influencing the market and shaping prices, and to network with executives from other firms in the aluminium industry.