Chief Executives of two of the world’s top 5 companies to Address Representatives of Worldwide Aluminium Industry during 3-Day Conference in November Hosted by Sohar Aluminium

Muscat, 11th October, 2011:  The Chief Executives of two of the five largest aluminium businesses in the world - Jacynthe Côté from Rio Tinto Alcan and Svein Richard Brandtzaeg of Hydro Aluminium– will be  keynote speakers at this year’s International Aluminium (ARABAL) conference that is being hosted by the world’s most modern smelter, Sohar Aluminium, and takes place between 14th and 16th November in Muscat.

Rio Tinto Alcan is the largest aluminium company in the world and Hydro Aluminium the fourth largest and their top executives will address this high powered gathering that is expected to attract hundreds of delegates from the region and around the world.

ARABAL is now recognised as one of the world’s leading aluminium events, attracting delegates and industry leaders from around the world to a region that is set to account for nearly 25 per cent of global aluminium output in the near future. 

This year it is being hosted in the Sultanate of Oman for the first time – recognition that Sohar Aluminium is taking its place as one of the fastest growing and influential aluminium manufacturers in the region. Rio Tinto Alcan also has a very close existing relationship with Oman through its 20 per cent shareholding in Sohar Aluminium and Hydro Aluminium meanwhile is an investor in Qatalum.

Two of the Gulf Smelters meanwhile – DUBAL and Alba – are now recognised as among the 10 largest producers of aluminium in the world – and the region’s importance to the manufacturing of the world’s most modern and unique metal that is used across a broad section of industrial sectors including transportation, packaging, electrical materials, pharmaceuticals and construction.

Commenting on the world-class speakers at the conference, Dr Hilal bin Abdullah Al Hinai, Corporate Affairs General Manager at Sohar Aluminium, said: “We are very proud that Oman has been able to attract so many global leaders in our industry to speak at this conference – including the Chief Executives from aluminium companies worldwide. 

“The aluminium industry in the Middle East has become a global player in the past decade as new smelters and increased capacity has come on stream and production has increased significantly.

“We estimate that shortly this region will be responsible for up to 25 per cent of global production making the Gulf in particular the fastest growing and most dynamic producer of a metal that is in ever increasing demand around the world for so many industrial and commercial purposes.”

He explained that aluminium is light, strong, flexible, non-corrosive and infinitely recyclable. Compared to most other metals, less energy is required to manufacture and transport products made from aluminium.

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.

Speakers from the aluminium industry’s global giants will be joined by speakers from the Government of Oman including H.E. Shaikh Saad bin Mohammad Al Saadi, Minister of Commerce and Industry and H.E. Nasser bin Khamis al Jashmi, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Oil and Gas. Other speakers will include senior executives from the region’s leading aluminium producers which include conference host Sohar Aluminium; Qatalum from Qatar; DUBAL and Emal from the UAE; Alba from Bahrain; Ma’aden from Saudi Arabia and Eqyptalum from Egypt.

The conference is being held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Muscat with space for up to 400 delegates to participate from the Gulf, wider Middle East and around the world and with spaces and opportunities still open for delegates to apply for.

ARABAL 2011 has also already attracted a broad spectrum of sponsors including many international and regional leaders in the aluminium and associated industry sectors. They include ABB, Alstom, FATA, Oman Aluminium Rolling Company, RTA, Five Solios, R & D Carbon Switzerland, PCIC, Morten Simonsen, RGL, SGL Carbon, Clauser Middle East and Fusiref in addition to the Gulf smelters.

Speakers and delegates will be discussing a wide range of issues around the role of the smelters in the Gulf region and how they can play an active role in ensuring continued sustainable growth in the aluminium industry and meeting the ever growing demands of industry for cost effective aluminium supply.

Major areas of discussion will include options for power generation in production; future expansions in the Middle East; efficient raw material supply chains for the Gulf’s smelters; recycling initiatives; downstream growth; the use of the latest industrial technology and corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Dr Hilal bin Abdullah Al Hinai added: “The aluminium smelters of the Gulf, including ours at Sohar Aluminium, are making a vital contribution to the GDP of our respective countries, creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs, providing skilled, well paid careers for individuals and ensuring our industry makes a long-term commitment to the well being of the communities where we operate.

“Delegates at the conference will be able to find out more about our strategies for continuing this growth and development and ensuring we continue our success as the flagship region in the world for expanding production and rapid manufacturing aluminium growth.”

Delegates visiting the conference will also be given opportunities to visit the Sohar Aluminium smelter – travelling from Muscat to Sohar via a high speed ferry – and also to enjoy some of Oman’s rich culture and heritage during the four day event.