Minister to Launch Conference That Has Attracted Global Aluminium Experts to Oman

Muscat, 13th November, 2011: The Omani Minister of Commerce and Industry, H.E. Shaikh Saad bin Mohammad al Saadi will make the opening address at the first annual ARABAL conference to be held in Oman that has attracted aluminium industry leaders from around the world.

His Excellency will make the opening keynote address to the 3-day conference that is being held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Muscat from November 14th to November 16th and is being hosted for the first time by Sohar Aluminium.

He will be followed by a speech from Mrs. Jacynthe Côté, the Chief Executive of the world’s largest aluminium company Rio Tinto Alcan – reinforcing the significance of the Gulf’s aluminium industry that is set to contribute up to 25 per cent of global production in the next few years.

Delegates from over 30 countries are arriving in Muscat for the high profile conference that will put the global spotlight on regional production and the challenges faced by smelters in the Middle East and around the world as demand for the world’s most flexible and useful metal continues to rapidly grow.

Day one of the conference will feature sessions focusing on expansion opportunities for smelters in the Gulf, the importance of corporate social responsibility and community programmes for aluminium companies and a discussion on price trends and the availability of raw materials.

The second day of the conference will focus on how new technology is enhancing and improving productivity levels and speed of manufacturing, downstream manufacturing and recycling initiatives and the importance of access to cost effective and plentiful power supplies.

On the final day of the conference, delegates will be taken by ferry from Muscat for a site visit at Sohar Aluminium’s state of the art smelter in Sohar.

The theme of this year’s ARABAL conference is “Global Challenges for sustainable growth in the aluminium industry and the role of the Gulf smelters” – issues affecting regional and global manufacturers, downstream industries and suppliers.

Commenting on the ARABAL 2011 conference, Mr Henk Pauw, Chief Executive Officer at Sohar Aluminium, said: “Sohar Aluminium is very proud to be hosting this prestigious event for the first time that has attracted so many delegates from around the world and an array of top quality speakers from the international aluminium industry.

“Sohar Aluminium is playing an increasingly important role in the regional industry and having a hugely positive impact on the Omani economy through our operations. We are looking forward to welcoming our colleagues from around the world to the Sultanate and showcasing our country and Omani traditions of hospitality.”

ARABAL 2011 has attracted sponsorship from leading companies who include ABB, Alstom, FATA EPC, Oman Aluminium Processing Industries LLC, Oman Aluminium Rolling Company, Rio Tinto Alcan, Five Solios Group, R & D Carbon Switzerland, Petroleium Coke Industries Company, Morten Simonsen, Rotex, SGL Group, Clauser SAS, Fusiref Wahl Refractory Solution, Steinweg and Kuwait Industry Company.

This is in addition to the regional sponsorship that the conference has received from the Gulf and regional Arab smelters in the shape of ALBA from Bahrain, DUBAL and Emal from the UAE, Qatalam from Qatar, Egyptalum of Egypt and newcomer Ma’aden of Saudi Arabia.

Aluminium is a light, strong, flexible, non-corrosive and infinitely recyclable metal that is now becoming one of the most important products in the world for modern manufacturing industry, especially as compared to most other metals, less energy is required to manufacture and transport products made from aluminium.

ARABAL, which was first held in 1983, is now recognised as one of the world’s leading aluminium events, attracting delegates and industry leaders from around the world.