A top official at Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba) says that his industry is likely to account for up to 16 percent of Bahrain’s total gross domestic product once Alba’s ongoing capacity build-out is completed and comes online next year.
Speaking at the Gulf Industry Fair 2018 earlier this week, Alba’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Murray told local media that its Line 6 Expansion Project, which is slated to increase its smelter’s nameplate capacity by 540 thousand metric tons, could boost the sector’s economic contribution by up to four percent.
“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.”
Murray continued by saying that half of the plant’s output, which will reach 1.5 million metric tons per year upon Line 6’s completion next January, will remain in Bahrain, feeding its downstream and value-added sector. The balance will be sold to buyers in the United States, Europe, and other countries in Asia he explained.
First among buyers will continue to be the United States thanks to the Bahrain-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) he concluded.
Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C., or simply Alba, is one of the largest industrial companies in the Middle East and is one of the top 10 largest aluminium producers in the world. Originally incorporated in 1968, the company is based in Bahrain and 84% of its total workforce are Bahraini nationals. It began operations in 1971 with a 120,000 metric ton annual capacity. Modernization bumped the output up to 450,000 metric tons in 1992. In the spring of 2005, Alba opened Line 5, raising output by 860,000 metric tons per year. In 2016 Alba’s smelter produced 971,420 metric tons of primary aluminium.