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Spotlight to be turned on Aluminium Industry in Middle East at 3-Day International Conference Hosted by Sohar Aluminium

Muscat, 28th September, 2011:  Sohar Aluminium, the most modern smelter in the world, has announced that it will host the Arab International Aluminium (ARABAL) conference for the first time in Oman in November when the global industry spotlight will be turned on the Sultanate and the Middle East.

Senior industry executives and experts from around the world will gather in Muscat to share experiences, highlight new developments and discuss the future of aluminium manufacturing – especially in the GCC region.

The conference comes as the Gulf becomes a global powerhouse in aluminium production with the region set to account for nearly 25 per cent of world output in the near future.

The theme of this year’s ARABAL is “Global Challenges for sustainable growth in the aluminium industry and the role of the Gulf smelters” – reflecting the growing global significance of the region.  

The vital role of the region has been recognised by the presence of some of the world’s top  aluminium business leaders including Rio Tinto Alcan Chief Executive Jacynthe Côté and the President and CEO of Hydro Aluminium Svein Richard Brandtzaeg.

They will be joined by Oman Government speakers 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, plus 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 will take place from 14-16 November and is being held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Muscat with up to 400 delegates expected to participate from the Gulf, wider Middle East and around the world. 

ARABAL 2011 has 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, RTA, Five Solios, R & D Carbon Switzerland, PCIC, Morten Simonsen, RGL, SGL Carbon, Clauser Middle East and Fusiref in addition to the Gulf smelters.

Keynote 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.

Key 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.

Commenting on ARABAL 2011, Sohar Aluminium Chief Henk Pauw said: “As one of the Gulf’s youngest and newest smelter and the most modern in the world we are very proud to be hosting this prestigious global gathering of the aluminium industry. The significance of our region in the global aluminium industry is shown by the calibre of speakers the conference has attracted including some of the world’s biggest aluminium producers who share our passion for excellence and to be the best.

 “This region is acknowledged as the fastest growing aluminium producer in the world and we will shortly be responsible for an estimated 25 per cent of world production. The conference is a vital gathering for our industry to discuss with colleagues from around the world how to effectively ensure we manage growth effectively, continue to maximise efficiencies and economies of scale while ensuring supply of what is today one of the world’s most flexible and highly sought after materials.

“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.

ARABAL Steering Committee Chairman Mohammad Al-Naki added: “The conference is now in its 28th year and we are delighted that Oman will now host this prestigious event for the first time – reflecting the successful inauguration and rapid growth of Sohar Aluminium.

“The development of a thriving aluminium business in the Sultanate is helping to further strengthen the importance of the Gulf region as a major global player in the production of aluminium and benefitting from our ability to export aluminium around the world given the region’s crucial geographic position.”

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.

To find out more about the conference and to register as a delegate to the year’s biggest and  most important gathering for the regional aluminium industry log on to; email or call 00 968 268363314 – 00 968 26863550.



The original and most influential conference in the region was started in 1983 by Kuwait Aluminium Co. to bring together leading figures in Middle East Aluminium in order to strengthen ties and discuss issues of the day.  Over the past 28 years The Arab International Aluminium Conference, ARABAL, has grown year on year and now attracts heads of industry from around the world to attend, speak and exhibit and last year ARABAL attracted more than 400 guests. ARABAL is the only conference in the world attended by every single primary aluminium manufacturer in the Gulf Region, which makes it the conference of choice for anyone interested in the Middle East aluminium industry.

About Sohar Aluminium

Sohar Aluminium is the world’s most modern smelter and has been operating at full capacity for the past two years – directly employing over 1000 staff and creating a further 2,500 indirect jobs. The company is committed to developing Omani talent with an Omanisation rate of 70 per cent and will invest nearly $2 million in training in 2011 to provide local people with the skills they need to advance and develop their careers.

The company is an important part of the Sultanate’s long term 2020 development programme and in addition to its direct impact, Sohar Aluminium has invested US$ 1 million in 2010 and will invest US$1.750 million this year for its CSR programmes in the Sohar and Al Batinah regions  – helping a very wide section of society.

It makes a significant contribution to Oman’s overall GDP of 0.6 per cent and produced its one millionth tonne of aluminium in August of this year.  Sohar Aluminium has off-take agreements with two downstream industries using its liquid metal – Oman Aluminium Processing Industries Limited (OAPIL) and Oman Aluminium Rolling Company (OARC).

Sohar Aluminium is owned by three major companies – Oman Oil (40%); Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) (40%) and Rio Tinto Alcan (20%). 

For further media information, please contact:

Lisa Christowitz – Communications Manager Sohar Aluminium 

Tel: 00 968 2686 3314 / 00 968 99 102 360


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