Alba: going strong

Alba: going strong

Aluminium to account for 15pc of Bahrain GDP

March 2018

Bahrain's aluminium industry will account for 15 to 16 per cent of the kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) with the beginning of the commercial operations of Aluminium Bahrain’s (Alba) brownfield Line 6 Expansion Project next year, a top official said.

“The aluminium industry is one of the strategic sectors that has led Bahrain’s economic diversification and currently accounts for 12 per cent of the kingdom’s GDP. We see the contribution rising to 15 to 16 per cent with Line 6 Expansion Project,” stated Alba’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Murray.

Murray: focused approach

Murray: focused approach

Expected to begin production by January 1, 2019, the project will boost the smelter’s annual production by 540,000 metric tonnes, bringing its total production capacity to 1.5 million metric tonnes per year.

With the ramp-up of production, approximately 50 per cent of its output will be sold to a vibrant downstream aluminium sector in the kingdom, while the rest will be exported, predominantly to the US, Europe and Asia, Murray said.

The biggest export market will continue to be the US, which is growing very fast and is aided by the Bahrain-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA), he added.

The sector, he pointed out, was also among the largest employers of Bahrainis with nationals accounting for nearly 85 per cent of Alba’s employees.

The company achieved another a significant milestone with the First Cathode Sealing Operation, last month, an integral part of the potlining activities for the new Line 6 pots based on the Dubal DX Ultra Technology that is being employed at the Line 6 Smelter.

“We are very much pleased with the overall progress we have made on Line 6 Smelter. The focused-approach adopted by our team has yielded nicely on the progress of engineering (79 per cent), procurement (83 per cent), contracts (97 per cent) and construction (17 per cent) simultaneously,” said Murray.

“We look forward to the on-schedule completion of Line 6 Expansion Project and have everything checked to be ready for commercial operations,” he added.


Net income up 91pc

Dr Abdulla Habib: the new acting COO

Dr Abdulla Habib: the new acting COO

The aluminium smelter, generated a net income of BD92.5 million ($245.9 million) in 2017, up 91 per cent compared to BD48.4 million ($128.7 million) in 2016.

For the fourth quarter of 2017, Alba posted a net income of BD23.5 million ($62.4 million), up 72 per cent versus BD13.7 million ($36.5 million) for the same period in 2016, said a statement from the company.

Alba closed 2017 strongly and the sound financial performance reflected the company’s resilience in setting the benchmark on Line 5 recovery and was driven by favourable management performance, it said.

The company reported total sales of BD857.8 million ($2.3 billion) in 2017, up by 28 per cent versus BD669.8 million ($1.8 billion) in 2016. The Q4 2017 total sales stood at BD252.7 million ($672.2 million), up by 39 per cent versus BD181.6 million ($483 million) for the same period in 2016 – both driven by higher LME prices, it added.

The total sales volume was up by 0.4 per cent YoY to reach 978,195 metric tonnes, while production topped 981,016 metric tonnes (+1 per cent YoY). 2017 value-added sales averaged 57 per cent versus 56 per cent in 2016.

The board also approved the appointment of Dr Abdulla Habib as the acting chief operations officer (COO) with immediate effect, said the statement.

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