The GCC’s aluminium production is expected to reach five million tonness by 2014 in order to cater for the increasing global demand.
Demand globally is estimated to increase and reach 70 million metric tonnes per year by 2020 and GCC countries are expected to boost aluminium production capacity by up to 40 per cent .
The Gulf Aluminium Council (GAC) reported that the current GCC operating smelters Alba, Dubal, Emal, Qatalum & Sohar have collectively produced 3,739,290 tonnes of primary aluminium in 2012 compared to 3,488,357 in 2011.
The GCC region has been a key aluminium producer as it is expected to account for 13% of the world’s total production by the end of 2013, driven mainly by aggressive investments in the region’s aluminium industry. This will include construction of new smelters and the expansion of the pipeline network that has further reinforced the region’s position in the global market.
GAC secretary-general Mahmood Daylami said: “Aluminium industry is now one of the main economic drivers for the Gulf contributing to jobs creation, establishment of small and medium size industries and contribution to the community development.”
Future developments includes Ma’aden operations with an annual capacity of 750,000 tonnes per annum. Ma’aden is an integrated operation that includes Bauxite mining and aluminium refinery as a raw material to produce aluminium in the smelter along with the rolling mill. The project construction is completed and is in the start-up phase.
Emal which started its operations in 2010 has also embarked an expansion project to increase its production capacity from 800,000 in 2012 to 1.3 million tonnes by 2014.
Gulf producers tend to take their aluminium production capacity even further to address the strong demand, particularly within the GCC region, leveraging its strategic advantages including its easy access to low-cost raw materials and proximity to major aluminium markets in Europe, USA and the Far East.
As estimated by the Gulf Aluminium Council, around 80% of produced aluminium in the Gulf is exported to different parts of the world, reaffirming the GCC’s vital role to meet local, regional and global demand.
In 2011, a number of new aluminium smelters and manufacturing companies were established in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE to drive further growth and establish the Gulf as a major player in the world aluminium industry.
On the other hand, the Gulf’s aluminium investments are seeing significant movement and could hit $55bn by 2022, with $22bn in the UAE, $7bn in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and $5.7bn in Qatar.
As part of the efforts to increase the Gulf’s global market share and create lucrative investment opportunities across the aluminium industry in the region, a select group of local, regional and international investors, experts and businessmen are set to discuss some of the prominent industry concerns, trends and investment opportunities during the ‘Aluminium Middle East 2013’ exhibition, which will take place from April 23 to 25 at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC).
Show director Mohammed Bader-Eddin said: “The Gulf region has all the right components to truly become a key player in the global aluminium production business.
“GCC countries are currently working hard to achieve their future aspirations and consolidate their leading position in the region and the world by primarily increasing their annual productivity and adding new capacity, while adopting the latest advanced technologies and the highest standards in sustainability and environmental conservation.”