OMAN. Oman has the potential to become a major aluminium recycling centre servicing the industry across the GCC in the future, an industry leader told delegates who attended the ARABAL 2011 conference in Oman – the 15th time the event has been held.
Frederic Rouyer, the Chief Executive of Oman Aluminium Processing Industries LLC (OAPIL) told delegates at the Sohar Aluminium hosted event in Muscat about the huge untapped potential for the creation of a viable aluminium recycling industry in the Gulf.
He explained that the amount of aluminium scrap produced in the GCC during the downstream process was set to double to an estimated 270,000 metric tonnes per annum by 2020 as the Gulf becomes an increasingly centre of global importance for the industry.
Mr. Rouyer explained that recycling was a highly cost effective way to reinforce sustainability, was environmentally aware and can also help to generate new employment and economic growth.
Delegates heard that: “Recycling has huge benefits for future generations by preserving energy and natural resources and there is clearly a case for looking to develop a sophisticated aluminium recycling industry here in Oman that could benefit all of the GCC smelters.
“Compared with the production of primary aluminium, recycling of aluminium products needs as little as 5 per cent of the energy and emits only five per cent of the same amount of greenhouse gases as in conventional aluminium production. Recycling can be increased further by including an aluminium recycling plant with the downstream process.”
Investing in recycling in Oman would help with direct and indirect job creation for Omani nationals, support long-term sustainability in the region, help with community and social development and provide fresh education and training opportunities, added Mr. Rouyer.
OAPIL was established in 2007 and produces 50,000 metric tonnes of aluminium products every year that include aluminium rods, alloy rods and overhead line conductors with plans to significantly increase production in the future.
Conference delegates also heard about the way that Sohar Aluminium is helping to foster a growing downstream aluminium industry through projects such as the Oman Aluminium Rolling Company LLC that has been established with their Italian partner FATA EPC.
The project is an RO 140 million investment that will create 275 full time jobs and an additional 1200 construction jobs during the development of the plan that is set to start production in August 2013 with full commercial operations underway in 2014.
Producing an estimated 160 metric tonnes of product per year the plant will produce a broad range of aluminium products that will include aluminium food containers, foil wrap, automotive heat exchangers, residential and commercial air conditions and other industrial products.
The theme of this year’s ARABAL conference was “Global Challenges for sustainable growth in the aluminium industry and the role of the Gulf smelters” – issues affecting regional and global manufacturers, downstream industries and suppliers – and has attracted an estimated 400 delegates from over 30 countries.
Hosted by Sohar Aluminium for the first time, it helped to put the spotlight on the growing aluminium industry in the Sultanate and the hugely successful conference attracted 400 delegates.
ARABAL 2011 attracted sponsorship from leading companies who include ABB, Alstom, FATA EPC, Oman Aluminium Processing Industries LLC, Oman Aluminium Rolling Company, Rio Tinto Alcan, Five Solios Group, R & D Carbon Switzerland, Petroleum Coke Industries Company, Morten Simonsen, Rotex, SGL Group, Clauser SAS, Fusiref Wahl Refractory Solution, Steinweg, Kuwait Industry Company and Omantel.
This is in addition to the regional sponsorship that the conference received from the Gulf and regional Arab smelters in the shape of Sohar Aluminium in Oman, ALBA from Bahrain, DUBAL and Emal from the UAE, Qatalam from Qatar, Egyptalum of Egypt and newcomer Ma’aden of Saudi Arabia.
The original and most influential conference in the region was started in 1983 by Kuwait Aluminium Co. to bring together leading figures in Middle East Aluminium in order to strengthen ties and discuss issues of the day. Over the past 28 years The Arab International Aluminium Conference, ARABAL, has grown year on year and now attracts heads of industry from around the world to attend, speak and exhibit and last year ARABAL attracted more than 400 guests. ARABAL is the only conference in the world attended by every single primary aluminium manufacturer in the Gulf Region, which makes it the conference of choice for anyone interested in the Middle East aluminium industry.
About Sohar Aluminium
Sohar Aluminium is the world’s most modern smelter and has been operating at full capacity for the past two years – directly employing over 1000 staff and creating a further 2,500 indirect jobs. The company is committed to developing Omani talent with an Omanisation rate of 70 per cent and will invest nearly $2 million in training in 2011 to provide local people with the skills they need to advance and develop their careers.
The company is an important part of the Sultanate’s long term 2020 development programme and in addition to its direct impact, Sohar Aluminium has invested US$ 1 million in 2010 and will invest US$1.750 million this year for its CSR programmes in the Sohar and Al Batinah regions – helping a very wide section of society.
It makes a significant contribution to Oman’s overall GDP of 0.6 per cent and produced its one millionth tonne of aluminium in August of this year. Sohar Aluminium has off-take agreements with two downstream industries using its liquid metal – Oman Aluminium Processing Industries Limited (OAPIL) and Oman Aluminium Rolling Company (OARC).
Sohar Aluminium is owned by three major companies – Oman Oil (40%); Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) (40%) and Rio Tinto Alcan (20%).