DCEO Mr Khalid Mohammed Laram addressing the audience
Qatalum highlighted its support of downstream Qatari industry as a Strategic Sponsor of the AZEM Aluminium Downstream Investment Opportunities Conference, held on the 27 May at the Intercontinental Hotel, Doha, under the patronage of the Minister of Energy and Industry. Having signed permanent contracts last year with two local downstream companies (Al Noor Aluminium Extrusion and Qatar Aluminium Extrusion), Qatalum sees investing in Qatari industry as a key part of its responsibilities under the Qatar's National Vision 2030, and its vision for the development of the regional aluminium sector.
As Qatalum DCEO Mr Khalid Mohammed Laram highlighted, aluminium downstream industries are crucial to the GCC's development processes due to the value-added to the GDP, creation of direct and indirect employment opportunities, and the increased role of the industrial sector in the economy – an important part of long-term economic diversification envisioned by Qatar's leadership.
According to the DCEO, high energy costs and difficult market conditions are leading to the closure of many global smelters which creates an opportunity for GCC smelters to increase their global market share of primary aluminium. Therefore leading to a knock on effect for global demand of downstream products sourced from the GCC.
The audience at the conference
Qatalum is committed to being a part of this development process, and to helping create a strong and robust intermediate and downstream aluminium industry for Qatar. Qatalum is seen by Qatar's leadership as a strong catalyst for the development of aluminium-related industries in the country and is keen for it to share its knowledge base through the development of education, research and development.
There are several reasons for this shared vision of downstream growth. In February Qatalum celebrated its one year supplier relationship with Qatari downstream companies. Moreover, according to CRU estimates, in 2011 Qatar ranked 15 out of 44 in primary aluminium production and had risen to 13th by 2013 – a positive climb forecast to continue in the coming decade. The successful bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar has drastically increased forecast demand for aluminium, with the infrastructural demands such as the construction of stadiums, rail transport, industrial facilities and housing providing a boost to the local downstream industries.
In addition, a steering committee between Qatar Petroleum and Qatalum is in place to plan downstream initiatives, to ensure that maximum strategic value is achieved from partnerships with downstream industries.
Finally, Qatar's National Vision 2030 is a two-decade, multi-pillar vision for the economic, social and environmental development and diversification of the country – and this includes broad vision for infrastructure development that, again, will demand not only primary aluminium production but also the downstream industries to participate in the supply of products.
DCEO Mr Khalid Mohammed Laram said, "Qatalum are pleased to sponsor this important event, which allows us the chance to showcase our vision, while presenting new open support and guidance to potential downstream ventures".