GCC's first aluminium refiners hub to be set up in Bahrain

Leading European metal producer Aleastur has launched the region’s first plant for aluminium grain refiners and master alloys production at its new Middle East base in Bahrain. 


The new $15 million site at the heart of the Gulf region will supply specialty alloys to global markets, including Asia, North America and the GCC. 


Aleastur's new hub is part of a broader plan, in partnership with the kingdom's sovereign wealth fund Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company - which acquired a significant stake in the company in 2016 - to develop the kingdom’s downstream aluminium sector and strengthen synergies between local manufacturers and key international players.


The Bahrain facility will be exporting approximately 85% of its annual production to regional players in the industry, including main aluminium smelters and cast-houses, said the statement from Mumtalakat.


The launch of this facility is a great example of Bahrain’s recently announced economic recovery plan in action. This supports the mandate to continue attracting investment to the kingdom, ultimately creating jobs for Bahrainis, it stated.


Headquartered in Asturias, a region of the northwest Spain, Aleastur is one of the top aluminium grain refiner players in the world and is expected to hit revenues in the new facility of nearly $53 million by 2025 as it ramps up foreign exports.


This Bahrain hub will be its first overseas facility and will produce high quality aluminium alloys to be used for different purposes across various industries.


As part of its expansion strategy, the new facility, which is designed to be an ideal aluminium downstream hub, will reduce lead times and strengthen supply chains for the aluminium industry in the region and neighbouring markets as global economies begin to reboot and construction projects resume.


"We hope to establish a solid regional base and establish an access point from Spain not only to cater the GCC but other several regions. The geographical location of Bahrain and easy access to some of the fastest growing markets here will provide the platform we need to achieve our international growth ambitions," remarked Aleastur CEO Sergio Martinez. 


"We’re thrilled to be joining our industry peers in Bahrain and we look forward to tapping into a growing aluminium hub right next door to Alba. In combination with our Spanish facilities, the new site will be particularly well positioned to export to the South East Asian and Indian markets," he noted. 


"In addition to Bahrain’s well-placed geographical location, we will benefit from the highly skilled local workforce, strong logistics infrastructure and best-value operating costs," he added.


Commenting on the announcement, Mumtalakat CEO Khalid Al Rumaihi, said: "As one of our key investments, Aleastur’s presence in Bahrain will add significant value to the growing downstream aluminium cluster which will enable them to cater to the growing demand in the region and beyond. We look forward to seeing their operations expand and are excited by the prospects this next phase for Aleastur brings."


Bahrain is already known in the Gulf region for its booming aluminium trade. The kingdom’s national aluminium manufacturer, Alba, is the largest single-site smelter in the world outside of China, producing at full capacity more than 2% of global output. 


Mid and downstream clusters are fast developing around Alba, feeding off the metal it produces. Aluminium exports made up about 34.2% of Bahrain’s non-oil exports in 2020 and the sector already contributes 11.1% to GDP.


Bahrain’s Economic Development Board CEO Khalid Humaidan said: "The decision by Aleaster to build its first international base in Bahrain, is a prime example of the kingdom’s attractiveness in the manufacturing and logistics sectors which we believe can be summarized by three main attributes."


"Firstly, our competitive operating costs are likely to be more profitable, secondly, our free trade agreements support businesses. Last but not least, a key decisive element is the highly skilled workforce we have to man those business and keep them successful," he added.


Other aluminium companies operating in Bahrain include Bamco, Garmco, Balexco, and Midal Cables. The firms distribute internationally through Bahrain’s FTAs with 22 countries around the world, including the US.-TradeArabia News Service


Source: http://www.tradearabia.com/news/CONS_389550.html


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