The Alba plant: good showing

The Alba plant: good showing

Alba reports profit surge

01 December 2013

ALUMINIUM Bahrain (Alba) reported a big surge in profits on the back of higher premiums, higher sales volumes and strong operational performance despite lower London Metal Exchange (LME) prices.

The company posted a net income of BD66.1 million ($175.8 million) for the first nine months of 2013, up 50 per cent from BD43.9 million for the same period in 2012. Net income for the third quarter of 2013 jumped 137 per cent to BD4.9 million while there was a net loss of BD13 million for the third quarter of 2012.

Sales for the first nine months of 2013 were BD565.9 million compared with BD 554.8 million for the same period in 2012, up 2 per cent. Sales for the third quarter of 2013 rose by 7 per cent to reach BD183.3 million against BD171.9 million in Q3 2012.

Highlights of Q3 were a strong Saudi demand, a production increase of 4.7 per cent and a 48 per cent increase in physical premiums year on year. Value-added products accounted for 65 per cent of total shipments versus 66 per cent in Q3 2012.

Priorities Alba has listed are: a continued focus on safety programmes, leveraging the operational excellence programme, keeping a sustained focus on value-added sales and the Line 6 expansion project.

Commenting on Q3 2013, the chairman of Alba’s board of directors, Mahmood Hashim Al Kooheji, said: “Alba’s focus on operational excellence initiatives has steered the company towards delivering on its targets, maintaining its competitive position and improving its bottom line.

“I would also like to thank the team at Alba for their efforts to improve overall safety performance. We believe that a strong safety performance is linked directly to financial performance.”

Alba CEO Tim Murray added: “Alba continues to achieve positive results while most of the industry is struggling. Alba has been able to leverage our continuous improvement culture as a way to deliver results to the bottom line. Momentum continues to build and we are confident we will exceed the 2012 production record.”

The company produces more than 890,000 tonnes per annum of the highest grade aluminium, with products including standard and T-ingots, extrusion billets, rolling slab, properzi ingots, and molten aluminium. The shareholders are Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (69.38 per cent), Sabic Investment Company (20.62 per cent) and the general public (10 per cent).


Safety focus

Al Kooheji: prioritising core issues

Alba’s commitment to promote safety across the plant was boosted with the engineering department’s HSE week, which was held in conjunction with the Line 6 team from November 10-12 under the theme: “Working together to prevent accidents”.

The HSE Week was unique as it specifically aimed to enhance safety awareness and promote HSE knowledge amongst all contractors’ staff as well as all Alba employees.

The event featured various activities such as site visits, screenings of safety films, experts’ talks on safety-related topics and awareness sessions in native languages for contractor workers.

Commenting on the HSE Week, Shawqi Mohammed. Al Hashimi, director, Line 6 project and engineering, said: “At Alba, we continuously strive to achieve a zero accident work environment through employee-centric activities and programmes on safety awareness. The management-led initiative of different operational areas and departments conducting HSE Week allows us to specifically focus on core safety issues related to our respective areas of work. The engineering department’s HSE Week held in cooperation with the Line 6 Team underlined the importance of all employees working together as a team to achieve safety at every level.”

Alba maintains safety awareness campaigns throughout the year, and this is accomplished through the weekly Monday safety hours, a five-minute safety talk before each shift and the annual HSE Week for all
the departments.

Alba launched a week-long safety films festival for its employees. More than 20 safety films produced by a dedicated in-house team were screened in different departments all over the plant with the goal of highlighting critical activities faced by different departments and the steps that can be taken to reduce risks and provide a focus on job safety practices.

Murray commented: “Messages that are conveyed via audio visual tools have a more persuasive edge in raising awareness on safety issues. Thus, we are confident that the safety films festival will provide employees with a fresh perspective in better understanding ways of minimising hazards and maximising safety in their respective tasks, and steer Alba towards achieving our goal of establishing a zero accidents work environment.” 

A dedicated team from Alba was set up to produce the safety videos. The team was involved in scripting, filming and post-production work on the videos, and plans are already underway to produce other safety-related videos.

To underline its commitment to Bahrainisation, Alba launched launched a new edition of the Vocational Training (VT) Programme.

Organised in conjunction with Tamkeen, the programme recruited 60 young Bahrainis – 20 secondary school graduates and 40 National diploma holders – who will undergo a two-year training programme in various aspects of Alba operations.

The programme was inaugurated by Murray and present at the launch were chief operations officer, Isa Al Ansari, chairman of the Alba Labour Union Ali Al Binali and training and recruitment manager Rawdha Salman Al Aradi.

Alba’s Vocational Training Programme is designed to empower trainees with technical and practical skills, and provide them with hands-on training in maintenance and smelter operations, thus increasing their employment opportunities. On successful completion of the programme, trainees will have the choice of opting for a relevant position within Alba.

The programme will include classroom and practical training as well as on-job training at designated sites in the plant. Training will be delivered by qualified and experienced instructors, and by senior experts at the work site.

Al Ansari said 87 per cent of the workforce was made up of Bahrainis. “Alba’s Vocational Training Programme is one of our major initiatives to support Bahrainisation and has been effectively designed for Bahraini nationals to develop necessary skills and technical knowledge to be leaders, and also inspiring them to look at aluminium industry as a preferred career option,” he said.

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