Production record in 2017 while the Line 6 Expansion project is proceeding on schedule. The importance of the aluminium industry in the economy of the Kingdom of Bahrain is growing.
by Roberto Guccione
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, during Gulf Industry Fair (06-08 February 2018) in Bahrain. 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% 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. 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).
Alba achieved another significant milestone with the First Cathode Sealing Operation, in January, 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. Commenting on this achievement, Tim Murray, said: “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%), Procurement (83%), Contracts (97%) and Construction (17%) simultaneously. We look forward to the on-schedule completion of Line 6 Expansion Project and have everything checked to be ready for commercial operations”. Alba closed 2017 strong; the sound financial performance reflected the Company’s resilience in setting a new industry benchmark on the speed of recovery of Reduction Line 5 which had been affected following the power outage incident in April 2017 and was driven by favourable management performance. The Company reported Total Sales of BD 857.8 million (US$ 2.3 billion) in 2017, up by 28% versus BD 669.8 million (US$ 1.8 billion) in 2016 while Q4 2017 Total Sales stood at BD 252.7 million (US$ 672.2 million), up by 39% versus BD 181.6 million (US$ 483.0 million) for the same period in 2016 – both driven by higher LME prices. The Company generated a Net Income of BD 92.5 million (US$ 245.9 million) in 2017, up by 91% compared to BD 48.4 million (US$ 128.7 million). As for the fourth quarter of 2017, Alba posted a Net Income of BD 23.5 million (US$ 62.4 million), up by 72% versus BD 13.7 million (US$ 36.5 million) for the same period in 2016. Alba achieved another milestone by setting another record in production with 981,016 metric tonnes for 2017. Alba’s 2017 production volume is the highest annual production recorded in Alba’s history, up by 1% Year-over-Year, despite a challenging 2017. Alba celebrated this achievement with a ceremony on Monday 08 January 2018 at Alba Oasis, which was attended by Alba Executive Management, Directors, Managers and employees from various departments. It is noteworthy that this is the sixth year in a row that Alba has been surpassing its annual production — 2012 production record of 890,217 mtpa; 2013 production record of 912,700 mtpa; 2014 production record of 931,427 mtpa; 2015 production record of 960,643 mtpa and 2016 production record of 971,420 mtpa.