INTERNATIONAL. According to Frost & Sullivan, the Aluminum production in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is expected to grow significantly in the short to medium term. The region is expected to contribute around 15% of the total global production of aluminium by 2015.
GCC has no clear advantage in terms of feed stock, as alumina is imported by all companies except Saudi Arabian Mining Company that has captive bauxite mines to supply feed stock Alumina. However, the cost of power and the availability of the same provide an edge to the region.
Energy costs account for one-third of aluminum production costs, and therefore, aluminum producers gravitate towards areas with cheap supply of natural gas.
Although Middle East leads in natural gas availability, gas allocation for aluminium projects has been difficult in the region. New GCC Aluminium smelters are now focusing on promoting value added down stream industries using liquid metal.
This is expected to provide price advantage to down stream products as traditionally other down stream use solid Aluminium ingot for production. Frost & Sullivan believes this is expected to further position GCC as the destination of choice for Aluminium Producers.
Note: Perspective by S Venkatesan, Director, Metals and Minerals Practice, Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, Frost & Sullivan.
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