Region set to become world aluminium producer
The Middle East could become the worldwide preferred producer of aluminium according to Dubai Aluminium Company (Dubal) and Emirates Aluminium (Emal) executive vice president, marketing and sales, Walid Al Attar.
Speaking at last weeks Aluminium Summit in New York, USA, Al Attar pointed out that only 606,000 metric tonnes of the 3.6 million metric tonnes produced by the five existing smelters in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region during 2010 was consumed locally (16.7%). The balance is exported globally, using well-established and strong routes to market.
He identified that production capacity of the GCC is likely to increase to close on 5.0 million metric tonnes per year by 2015, resulting in a larger offering of aluminium to world markets.
"When you consider that the GCC smelters use state-of-the-art reduction technologies and that their environmental standards equal, or better the world's best, it stands to reason that the Middle East will be a preferred source for aluminium," says Al Attar.
The executive vice president continued further explaining the significance of Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) to the development of the aluminium sector in the region.
"Not only is KIZAD targeting industries that support the country's vision, but it is also ideally located in terms of access to the sea and airports in the UAE, while providing ready access to 2.84 billion consumers in four of the global time zones.
"Through KIZAD, the Middle East aluminium industry will move into the next phase of the maturity curve, with inherently greater marketing opportunities," he added.