GCC eyes downstream aluminium expansion
Manama, April 11, 2013
GCC governments are now moving to attract international investors in the downstream aluminium industry, said a top official.
The aim is to push the use of the metal in diversified industries, Gulf Aluminium Council general secretary Mahmood Al Daylami was quoted as saying in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
"The growth potential of the GCC's aluminium industry remains exceptionally high and the government's proactive efforts to expand the industry towards the downstream sector is expected to unlock more growth opportunities in the future," Al Daylami said in a statement on the Aluminium Middle East 2013 conference and exhibition to be held from April 23 to 25 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
"Aluminium Middle East will therefore serve as a very important platform to identify various challenges and explore new possibilities to sustain long-term growth.
"The council is supporting the initiative as the continuing success of the event serves as a strong manifestation of the region's growth potential and the level of attention that the GCC has received from global industry players and investors," he added.
The aggressive positioning of the GCC region also reflects the growing dynamism in the global aluminium industry, which is on track to achieve an 8.4 per cent growth this year compared to 3.7 per cent last year.
The surging demand in key international markets such as China and the rest of Asia, North America, Latin America, East Europe and the Middle East is fuelling the optimism among aluminium manufacturers and investors in the GCC, as up to 80 per cent of the region's aluminium production is exported worldwide.
Moreover, the sustained growth in construction activities is likewise creating new business opportunities with up to 80 per cent of aluminium supplied in the region being used in the construction sector.
Aluminium smelters operating in the GCC have collectively produced 3,739,290 tonnes of primary aluminium last year, which accounts for 9 per cent of total world production, compared to 3,488,357 in 2011.
With the aggressive expansion drive in the region, the GCC is expected to account for 13 per cent of the world's total aluminium production by the end of this year.
Moreover, GCC countries are expected to collectively boost aluminium production capacity by up to 40 per cent to reach five million metric tonnes by 2014, from around 3.7 million tonnes last year.
The collective thrust of GCC countries to attract foreign investors and to expand the industry strongly reinforces the growing reputation of the region as a major aluminium hub.
"International investors are showing strong interest in the GCC's aluminium industry, given the region's strategic location, abundant energy resources and the proactive efforts of the GCC governments to cultivate an environment conducive for sustainable growth," Aluminium Middle East 2013 Show director Mohammed Bader Eddin said.
"With around 159 exhibitors from at least 25 countries attending the exhibition, we are confident that this year's edition will again generate new investment opportunities for the GCC's aluminium industry," he added. – TradeArabia News Service