Sohar Aluminium - Inaugurated

    OMAN, April 29 /CNW Telbec/ - The US$2.4 billion Sohar Aluminium smelter,
a joint venture between Rio Tinto Alcan (20%), Oman Oil Company (40%) and Abu
Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (40%) was inaugurated today. This new
generation AP36 smelter, the first greenfield smelter in the Middle East in
over thirty years, was completed on time, on budget and reached full
production capacity in February this year.
    The Sohar Aluminium smelter implements decades of industry insight in its
design, layout and construction, resulting in the most efficient and
environmentally conscious smelter currently in operation in the region. Sohar
Aluminium also débuts the world's longest single potline at 360 cells and the
industries highest known capacity ingot castor at 27 tonnes per hour.
Moreover, the smelter is the only one in the world to operate exclusively
using Rio Tinto Alcan's benchmark AP36 reduction technology. Jacynthe Côté
Chief Executive, Rio Tinto Alcan explained that "With AP36 technology in
place, Sohar Aluminium stands among the most cost-effective and innovative
facilities in the world."
    This smelter is already producing metal at a capacity of 360,000 tonnes
per annum. Furthermore, Sohar Aluminium is one of the few smelters worldwide
that is operating profitably at full capacity in the current economic climate.
Sohar Aluminium CEO Bruce Hall explains that "Sohar Aluminium's favorable
position on the cost curve, resulting from our industry leading efficiency and
low operating costs are the key."
    During the construction of the smelter, Sohar Aluminium achieved a period
of 12 million man-hours without LTI - putting it among the safest greenfield
aluminium projects in the world. Sohar Aluminium's ongoing commitment to
safety has been continued into production with a commitment to EHS
(Environment, Health and Safety) at the very core of the company.
Environmentally Sohar Aluminium is a best in class smelter benefiting from the
combination of the environmental impact mitigation processes of AP36 and world
class continuous emissions monitoring systems.
    Domestically the smelter has excelled with an ambitious nationisation
strategy, with the workforce currently comprising 68% Omani nationals which is
an exceptional achievement for the region.

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