The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will boost their share of global aluminum output to 15 percent by the end of the decade, the Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) said in a study.
"After the completion of new smelter projects in some GCC members, the total aluminum production in the region will surge to nine million tons per year, accounting for 15-17 percent of the world’s total output," GOIC said.
The Doha-based organization said that at the end of last year, GCC countries accounted for around 10 percent of global aluminum production, with annual output capacity of nearly 3.6 million tons of the metal.
The GCC’s total annual aluminum output will grow to 9 million tons following the completion of new smelter projects.
At the end of 2011, the number of aluminum projects in the region rose to 44 from 33 in 2000.
In the coming 12 years, GCC countries, which have invested $17.3 billion in aluminum projects, with nearly 47 percent or around $8.5 billion of the funds invested by the UAE, are forecast to increase these investments by $25 billion.
It said heavy investments into the sector boosted the number of aluminum projects in the GCC to 44 at the end of 2011 from 33 in 2000.
GOIC expected GCC states to invest a further $25 billion into new aluminum projects and expansion of their existing smelters in the next 12 years as part of an industrial drive to reduce reliance on unpredictable oil sales.
The report showed the new investments include around $5.8 billion in Qatar’s smelter, which was inaugurated in 2010 with a production capacity of 585,000 tons per year. About $8 billion will also be pumped by Emal in Abu Dhabi to push up output to 1.4 million tons while more expansions are on the cards in Dubai and Bahrain, where the region’s first smelters were set up.
Saudi Arabia is also planning to set up a $3.8-billion smelter while Oman has completed its first aluminum plant in Sohar.
GOIC said GCC nations need to push ahead with such projects to face a rapid rise in domestic demand because of massive infrastructure projects.
External demand for their products is also expected to surge as global consumption will likely pick up in the near future following a slowdown due to the 2008 global fiscal crisis, it added.
Aluminum projects in the GCC countries are part of overall industrial plans aimed at diversifying their economies away from unpredictable crude oil exports, which still account for at least two thirds of their national income.
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