Qatalum to build huge smelter

Massive US $3 billion industrial development is being planned to increase aluminum production and worldwide exports

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By  Conrad Egbert Published  April 1, 2006

Qatalum, a 50-50 joint venture between Qatar Petroleum (QP) and Norwegian Hydro Aluminium has announced plans to construct a US $3 billion (QR10.9 billion) aluminium smelter complex in Qatar, with a view to increasing aluminium production. The project involves the construction and operation of the primary aluminium plant, consisting of a smelter, a cast house and carbon plant as well as a dedicated 1350mW gas power plant. It will be located in the Mesaieed Industrial City. The smelter, with an initial annual capacity of 585,000 tonnes of primary aluminium will use Qatar’s abundant natural gas as feedstock. It is scheduled to start production in the last quarter of 2009. “Qatar is an ideal location for serving growing aluminium markets in Asia, Europe and North America. The vast gas resources of Qatar, combined with the country’s ambition to diversify its industry, will ensure a long-term competitive aluminium plant”, said second deputy premier and minister of Energy and Industry HE, Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah. The energy intensive smelter is expected to reach full production capacity by mid 2010, increasing to approximately 1.4 million tonnes per year in the second phase of the project. This will make it one of the largest of its kind in the world. Eivind Reiten, Norsk Hydro president and CEO, said the project will be one of the largest Greenfield aluminium smelters ever built with the added advantage of low production costs, Qatar’s abundant energy source and Hydro’s strong market capability. “This project is an important step in Hydro’s strategy to reposition its upstream aluminium business”, he said. The Norwegian Hydro Aluminium Company is a global aluminium firm, which brings more than 80 years of operational experience and a strong record on large-scale projects.

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