Qatalum, the joint venture aluminium project between QP and Hydro, will commence production at its Mesaieed facility in Q4, 2009.
Giving an update on the venture at an open house at the Sheraton last night, Qatalum project director Truls Gautesen said construction activities at the 1.5sq km plot allotted for the aluminium smelter would begin by November.
“We expect the final build decision to be taken by the joint venture partners in July,” Gautesen said.
Qatar Petroleum and Hydro have a matching stake (50:50) in the joint venture.
He said Qatalum would be one of the largest aluminium plants in the world. In the first phase it will have a capacity of 585,000 tonnes of primary aluminium.
Gautesen said the first metal would be produced in late 2009 and full production will be commissioned in 2010.
Qatalum will be built using the world’s most economical and environmentally friendly production technology and the project has been designed to minimise the impacts to the extent possible.
A dedicated power plant with a 1350MW is being set up to ensure stable supply. The primary aluminium from the Mesaieed smelter will be shipped to customers worldwide.
Mesaieed Industrial City (MIC), under Qatar Petroleum, will build a container berth adjacent to Qatalum’s berth 8 to handle the export of final products.
Gautesen said the project had already received the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) from the Supreme Council for the Environment and Natural Reserves in November last year.
He said the site preparation was already underway at Mesaieed. Some contracts have already been awarded.
They include the ones for removal of the existing high voltage overhead lines passing the aluminium site, access roads, transportation of backfill materials to the sites.
The transportation of backfill materials to the site has already begun. The site filling will continue for about one year. By the year-end dredging and some initial construction work will start in order to build the dedicated berth.
Gautesan said the project would provide approximately 1,100 jobs in the local community of Mesaieed. It will create approximately 5,500 jobs for the three-year duration of the construction.
Qatalum, he said, was designed to meet economical and environmentally-friendly production standards and placed Qatar at the forefront of clean and sustainable industries.
“We look forward to actively participating in this year’s Environment Day celebrations,” Gautesan said.
QP director (downstream ventures) Ali al-Sidiky and Hydro Aluminium director (environment) Bernt Malme were also present.