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Dubal to talk to India on Orissa project

Dubai, May 12, 2009

State-owned smelter Dubai Aluminium Company (Dubal) will be holding talks with the Indian government on its bauxite alumina project in Orissa next month, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

The bauxite mine and alumina refinery and smelter, a joint venture with Indian engineering conglomerate Larsen and Toubro, was originally scheduled to start in 2009, but Dubal has said in the past it expected delays due to bureaucratic issues in India.

"We are going on with our India project. We are just waiting for the elections to be completed and then we will hold talks in a month's time with our partners and the government," chief executive Abdulla Kalban told Reuters on the sidelines of an industry conference in Dubai.

The talks will cover plans for the plant but no further details over the agenda were available.

The phase one of the facility will have a 1.4 million tonne output capacity per year, while phase two, involving an aluminium smelter, would add another 1.4 million tonnes per year of alumina, Kalban said. No deadlines had been set for either phase, he said.

Kalban also said the firm's Cameroon project was on track. Dubal, US firm Hydromines and India's Hindalco Industries have formed Cameroon Alumina Limited (CAL), which aims to exploit 1.2 billion tonnes of bauxite from Cameroon.

The project is due to start production in 2013. "We are also going ahead with our Cameroon alumina project. We are currently in the pre-visibility stage, which will be completed by the first quarter of 2010," he said.

A Dubal executive said on Monday the future of an aluminium plant project at Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Economic City was "uncertain" in the current economic climate.

Last month Dubal met the Saudi Investment Authority and Saudi mining company Maaden to discuss plans to build the plant at the economic city, which is being developed by Emaar Economic City.

Kalban said on Monday Dubal was producing at full capacity of 960,000 tonnes a year and would not cut production, although sales had fallen 30 per cent in the first quarter as the global automotive industry suffers from a slump in consumer demand due to the credit crisis.

Aluminium producers worldwide have taken about 15 percent of global capacity offline as demand slumps. Many are operating below break-even levels and industry analysts say further prodcution cuts are needed to boost prices.-Reuters




Tags: Talks | Orissa | Dubai Aluminium Company | bauxite alumina |

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