Over 400 Delegates from 30 Countries Attended 3-Day Event in Muscat to Discuss Key Industry Issues

Muscat, 16th November, 2011:  Sohar Aluminium Chief Executive Henk Pauw has hailed the ARABAL 2011 conference a huge success that has helped to put the world spotlight on Oman’s growing aluminium industry and the vital role that the regional industry now plays in global terms.

Over 400 delegates from 30 countries attended the conference that debates a wide range of issues around the conference theme of “Global Challenges for sustainable growth in the aluminium industry and the role of the Gulf smelters”. 

ARABAL 2011 was hosted by Sohar Aluminium for the first time, reflecting the growing importance of the country’s rapidly expanding aluminium industry that is making a significant direct and indirect contribution to creating thousands of new jobs and economic prosperity in the Sultanate.

Making his concluding remarks to close the conference, Sohar Aluminium CEO Henk Pauw said: “This has been an enormously successful conference that has ensured the highest level of presentations, debate and discussion on industry issues that impact our industry both here in the Gulf and around the world.

“We have been delighted that the world’s leaders in the aluminium industry have spoken and participated in ARABAL 2011 – the 15th time this increasingly influential conference has been held. 

“It is clear from the discussions that our industry faces many challenges – but challenges the aluminium industry here in the region and globally can overcome through working together to meet rising demand, cost and energy supply issues and the need to ensure we maximise sustainability and support downstream industry for the future.”

International delegates visiting Oman for the first time were also given the opportunity to visit the Sohar smelter, one of the most technologically advanced in the world, and were impressed by the world-class facilities, manufacturing capabilities and talent that Sohar Aluminium has among its workforce that is predominantly Omani.

On the opening day of the conference the Chief Executive of the world’s biggest aluminium company, Jacynthe Côté of Rio Tinto Alcan told delegates that the production of this highly flexible and in demand metal will be a key to sustainable economic growth in the Middle East.

The Middle East is the fastest growing region in the world for aluminium production with increased manufacturing expanding at nearly twice the rate of smelters in other areas of the world.

Henk Pauw added: “It is clear from the three days we have spent together that our colleagues from around the region and around the world now have a much greater understanding of the aluminium sector in Oman and the proud role we are playing in increasing the region’s contribution to global supply.

“There is no doubt that Sohar Aluminium, along with our friends and colleagues in the Gulf, are enormously proud of the growing role we are playing in ensuring that production continues to be increased to meet the demand for what is one of the world’s most flexible and widely used metal that has transformed the way that so many products are produced – especially in the automotive industry.”

As a sign of the growing strength of the region as a global force in aluminium the ARABAL conference is now to be held annually with the next event being held in Qatar in 2012. 

ARABAL 2011 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, Petroleum Coke Industries Company, Morten Simonsen, Rotex, SGL Group, Clauser SAS, Fusiref Wahl Refractory Solution, Steinweg, Kuwait Industry Company and Omantel.

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