Sohar Aluminium Returns to Full Production After Unexpected August Shutdown

Oman’s Sohar Aluminium announced yesterday that it has returned to full production following a power disruption that led to a total shutdown and damage to its potline last summer.

Crediting the plant’s “all-inclusive teamwork,” Sohar said the entirety of the plant’s workforce collaborated to bring the potline back online quickly and safely. The quick turnaround bested even internal estimates, as Sohar’s CEO Mohammed Al Masoudi went on record late last year stating the belief that the plant would not be fully recovered until April.

Few details were released relating to the cause of the blackout on August 4th that rendered the potline entirely inoperable for over two weeks. The potline was reenergized on September 15th, but not before an estimated 130 thousand to 150 thousand metric tons of product was likely lost. Neither Sohar no part-owner Rio Tinto Alcan confirmed the actual tonnage of aluminium affected by the stoppage.

Though no official cause of the shutdown was revealed, anonymous sources revealed to local media that the cause of the shutdown to the 375-thousand-metric-tons-per-annum plant was an unspecified accident that led to a six-hour blackout.

Sohar Aluminium was founded in the fall of 2004 and is jointly owned by Oman Oil Company (40%), Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC – TAQA (40%), and Rio Tinto Alcan (20%). The US$2.5-billion joint venture produced 375 thousand metric tons of aluminium in 2016.

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