Work begins on Garmco remelt plant

February 2016

Groundbreaking for the $55 million remelt plant of Bahrain’s Gulf Aluminium Rolling Mills Co (Garmco) was held recently near the company’s main production facilities.

The project, due for completion by November 2017, is part of a three-year programme that aims to increase profitability and grow opportunities for the company in regional and international markets.

Present at the event were Bahrain’s Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Zayed Al Zayani, and the French Minister of Foreign Trade, Mathias Fekl.

The plant, for which France’s Fives has the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contract, will produce 120,000 tonnes of aluminium slabs and create around 50 new jobs while generating significant cost savings and further bolstering Garmco’s position as one of the main employers in Bahrain.

Jean-Baptiste Lucas, chief executive of Garmco, said the turnkey project was highly anticipated and would be central to its entire operations.

“The project goes in line with our strategy to become a regional leader in aluminium recycling as well as further building its capability to reach across global markets in collaboration with world-class partners,” he said.

Fives’ chief representative in the Middle East, Francois Pahmer, said the contract was important for his company.

“Fives had mostly been known as a technology partner for the smelters while our activities do span both primary and secondary aluminium production. It’s a great opportunity to showcase our capabilities in this field, even more so that it happens in Bahrain, a strategic country for our aluminium business.”

Pahmer said the project is important for two reasons: firstly it is based on the concept of recyclability of aluminium and secondly it is state of the art, “which is not always the case with downstream industry in the Gulf.” Equipment at the Bahrain plant would be “first class and top-notch” with a low environmental footprint and low energy consumption, thereby decreasing the cost of operations and improving Garmco’s competitiveness.

It would make Garmco more environmentally friendly and push value addition, he said.

Pahmer also said that while the region made huge capital investments on smelters it had been exporting scrap aluminium at low prices.

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