Qatalum inaugurates Qatar’s first aluminium smelter today

12 April 2010 (Doha, Qatar)- Qatar Aluminium (Qatalum), the world's most efficient and environmentally friendly aluminium smelter, is celebrating their success in bringing the aluminium industry to the State of Qatar with the inauguration of the Qatalum aluminium smelting plant today.  The historic launch is being held at Mesaieed Industrial City. 

HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani will mark the significance of this event for the State of Qatar by inaugurating the plant at the opening ceremony, which will also welcome such honoured guests as His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Haakon of Norway.

Pioneering a new industrial sector for Qatar
Qatar Aluminium Limited was established in 2006 as a 50-50 joint venture between Qatar Energy and Norwegian based company Norsk Hydro, and is expected to be fully operational in 2010.  Upon completion, Qatalum will have the ability to produce 585,000 tons of Primary aluminium products per annum.  This fully-integrated aluminium plant in Mesaieed Industrial City occupies an area of approximately 2.7 square kilometres and consists of a smelter products, Casthouse and carbon plant as well as a captive power plant and port and storage facilities.

Jan Arve Haugan, Chief Executive Officer of Qatalum, said, "The opening of the primary aluminium industry was a strategic investment for the State of Qatar because of the country's gas reserves, industrial infrastructure and market flexibility between Europe and Asia.  Aluminium is a versatile and sustainable metal that lends itself to a wide range of products, many of which we use in our everyday lives, and Qatalum is proud to be leading the development of this promising sector for the country."
Qatalum's value-added aluminium products can be used in an unlimited variety of manufacturing applications and products in building and construction, transportation, general engineering, household durables, leisure and more.  

Specialized technology and fully-integrated facility
The Qatalum project was designed to operate on the most economical and environmentally friendly production technology in the aluminium industry.  Through a combination of the most advanced Pot Tending Machines in the world and the plant's four Fume Treatment Plants Qatalum's emissions are very well controlled.  Using both dry and wet scrubbing, Qatalum is able to treat 99.5% of its process gasses.

Qatalum has also incorporated a port and storage areas into its facility in order to increase efficiency and streamline the production process.  The use of this specialized technology and site integration has made Qatalum one of the world's most efficient and environmentally- friendly aluminium producers.

Jan Arve Haugan, Chief Executive Officer of Qatalum, described the project's significance, "Qatalum's commitment to sustainability, efficiency and the highest environmental and safety standards is setting benchmarks in the global industry.  As the Gulf aluminium industry continues to expand, we believe our fully-integrated facility to serve as a model for others to follow."

Catalyst for future growth in Qatar
The arrival of the primary aluminium industry in the State of Qatar has significant implications for the country's continued economic development.  In addition to providing 1,000 permanent jobs in the local community of Mesaieed, Qatalum has created approximately 5,500 jobs over the three-year construction period, not including the additional jobs generated through the company's estimated $200 million expenditure on construction material and services in the Qatari economy.  There were some 22,000 workers involved at the peak of construction on the plant. When fully operational, Qatalum expects to contribute approximately $1.5 billion per annum to the national GDP and potentially double that when the project's impact on downstream or when economic diversification is taken into account.

The aluminium production plant will also stimulate the development of other related industries in the State of Qatar, including the country's manufacturing and construction sectors. Qatalum's value-added aluminium products can be used in an unlimited variety of manufacturing applications and products in building and construction, transportation, general engineering, household durables, leisure and more.  According to a Social Impact Assessment, Qatalum's supply chain will create an estimated 700 indirect and induced jobs, while considerably increasing household spending in the local economy and generating 2,400 jobs in downstream employment over the next twenty years.

Taking position in global aluminium industry
Qatar has a strong industrial infrastructure and one of the world's largest proven reserves of natural gas, which gives Qatalum an edge in the international market by ensuring affordable long-term energy supplies.  Qatar Petroleum is supplying approximately 200 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day to Qatalum. This energy supply is transformed to 1350MW of electricity in the state of the art combined cycle power plant.

As a testament to the company's market potential, Qatalum made its first shipment of aluminium foundry alloys to India on 18 December 2009.  The project's first extrusion ingot line has been in operation from the beginning of January 2010, and the remaining production lines will be completed and handed over to Qatalum Operations in the coming months.  New cells will come on-line throughout 2010, reaching full aluminium production capacity of 585,000 tonnes when all 704 cells are in operation by fourth quarter 2010.

Investing in the local community
Hassan Al Rashid, Deputy CEO of Qatalum, commented on Qatalum's contribution to society, saying, "We offer our employees a positive working environment that promotes teamwork and productivity, while supporting their professional and career development.  Our social initiatives such as Qatalum Family Day and our provision of high grade employee housing and club facilities also demonstrate our investment in the wellbeing of our staff and workforce."

Qatalum co-sponsors a Professor's chair in the College of Engineering at Qatar University and has also participated in local career fairs to reach out to students and make them aware of employment opportunities within the company. In line with Qatar Petroleum, the company will also provide career development programmes to enable employees to improve and expand their professional skills. 

There are approximately 30 nationalities represented in the whole organization with a strong emphasis on qualified Qataris, many of whom already hold senior positions within Qatalum.