Hydro to Start Qatar Aluminium Smelter in 2009

Managing director Trond Gjellesvik of Singapore based Hydro Aluminum Asia emphasized at press conference in Tokyo on Tuesday the firm starts new aluminium smelter in Qatar in October-December 2009 establishing annual 585,000 tonnes of capacity in 2010. He said the firm sells 210,000 tonnes in Asia, 215,000 tonnes in Europe and 80,000 tonnes in North America in 2012. The 50/50 smelting joint venture with state run Qatar Petroleum will invest total US$ 4.8 billion including US$ 1 billion for power generation. They finally decided the project in July after basic agreement in December 2004 and joint venture agreement in March 2005. The venture increases the operation to 312 kilo ampere for the pot line in 2013. The venture purchases 50% alumina requirement from Alunorte of Brazil, in which Hydro has 34% interest, through 20 years contract after Alunorte’s third expansion. The venture procures rest of alumina from major suppliers through 10 years contracts. The venture purchases alumina based on market price at London Metal Exchange. Hydro posted US$ 8.1 billion of operating profit with US$ 30.6 billion of sales in 2006. The firm has operations in more than 30 countries and 33,000 employees. The firm has strong financial position with 0.22 of debt equity ratio.