Qatalum well- placed to meet aluminum demand, says CRU

​Doha Primary aluminium smelters in GCC are competitive on global cost curve and companies such as Qatar Alumunium (Qatalum), have an excellent competitive position enabling it to remain profitable even in the current challenging market conditions, a repo

​Doha Primary aluminium smelters in GCC are competitive on global cost curve and companies such as Qatar Alumunium (Qatalum), have an excellent competitive position enabling it to remain profitable even in the current challenging market conditions, a report by London-based CRU has said

CRU is in experts in Mining, Metals and Fertilizers. The group delivers the highest quality business intelligence and advice to its clients in the worldwide metals, mining and fertilizer industries

According to the CRU report, the aluminium industry is set for a robust recovery in 2014 as demand for primary aluminium will pick up in OECD countries. The report noted that the primary demand growth for aluminium in the next 5 years will touch 64.5 million tonnes from the current demand of 49.9 million tonnes, at a compound annual growth rate of 5.3 %.

The report suggested that aluminium demand prospects are strong with growth in the transport sector the primary driver. It said that strong market discipline in the World ex. China means the market will be in deficit in the medium term.

The CRU report noted that demand will be met through the drawdown of stocks lending support to the London Metal Exchange (LME) price, while premiums will remain at high levels until the queues at the Detroit and Vlissingen warehouses fall.

Meanwhile, Qatalum introduced its own Quality Improvement Program (QIP) in 2013, aimed at reducing production cost and to be among the top 10 smelters in the world. The QIP has been very successful and the company has been able to reduce production cost and meet targets set out in the QIP.

To celebrate the success of the QIP, the company, recently held a Milestone Event at the Intercontinental City Hotel. The event was attended by the Chairman of Board of Directors Mr. Abdulrahman Ahmed Al Shaibi, Chairwoman of Board of Director Ms. Hilde Merete Aasheim, Chief Executive Officer Mr. Tom Petter Johansen, senior management and employees.
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The aim of the event was to reflect on vision & direction set by the Board, reflect on achievements to date in each area, strengthen buy in and commitment from the organization, ensure alignment of priorities and clear direction going forward, understand risks, issues and support required from each department going forward and to continue to enhance understanding & use of QPS.

In his inspirational keynote address Chairman Mr. Abdurrahman Ahmed Al Shaibi expressed his happiness and delights over the success of QIP and congratulated the employees for their sincere efforts in meeting the expectations of the board.

Outlining the strategic objectives for the period 2014-2018, Mr. Abdulrahman Ahmed Al Shaibi said all efforts should be made to meet the shareholders expectations of financial returns and to improve Qatalum's position on the cost curve to be among the top 10 in the world.

The chairman reiterated the importance of maintaining excellent health, safety and environmental standards and fulfills CSR obligations and also called upon initiatives to establish sustainable solutions for waste management.

Regarding the Qatarisation program, Mr. Al Shaibi said the company is committed to providing opportunities for Qatari employees and to make the company a secure a robust and competent organization.

Underling the importance of operational excellence, the chairman said this can be achieved in all areas of the company through rigorous implementation of the Qatalum Production System (QPS).

Mr Al Shaibi further said that by effectively managing risk throughout the enterprise and business continuity readiness, the company can further enhance the Qatalum brand.

On the subject of diversification, the Chairman said the company would support the development of local aluminium down-stream and establish an aluminium competence center in Qatar.

Speaking about Qatalum's  contribution  to Qatar National Vision 2030, Mr. Al Shaibi said the company is actively contributing to the development of a competitive and diversified economy capable of meeting the needs of, and securing a high standard of living for, all its people for the present and in the future.

He said Qatalum is playing the role as a catalyst for institutions to develop competences as partners to the aluminium industry and is contributing to Qatar's knowledge based economy. Mr. Al Shaibi said the company is striving towards a sustainable aluminium business by providing permanent jobs in Qatar and setting a basis for a new wave of downstream factories producing value-added products.

For her part Vice-Chairwoman Ms. Hilde Merete Aasheim commended the employees on the success of the QIP. She said that through QIP, Qatalum moved from top quartile performer to top 5% most cost efficient smelter in the world.

According to Ms. Hilde Merete Aasheim  the aim of the company is to be a world class smelter and this she said should be done by strong production  performance, reduced fixed cost considerably, improved quality and on time delivery and implementing  QPS as basis for improvements as well as  increased robustness.

In her analysis of the QIP, Ms. Hilde Merete Aasheim said so far QIP has achieved significant results but improvements have to continue.

Chief Executive Officer Mr. Tom Petter Johansen addressed the gathering. He said the company made good progress in 2014, adding that that to sustain the QIP, robust action plan & execution are critical.

The CEO said that Qatalum Production System sustains improvements & drives the organization towards a continuous improvement culture. He said the company will continue to install a culture of continuous improvement as it is a critical enabler for the Qatalum Improvement Program and helps sustain new levels of performance

Mr. Johansen pointed out that QIP success is critical for Qatalum and for its shareholders. He said this maintains the company's competitiveness in the global and regional markets and proactively transform the company using internal talent & capability with minimal expenditure.

The day concluded with managers and team members from the various department presenting their achievements and contribution towards the QIP. They also presented a road map for their future initiatives that would subsequently lead to reduction in production cost.