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09. March 2008

Dubal commissions additional smelter capacity at Jebel Ali plant

State-owned Dubai Aluminium Company Limited has consolidated its status as the seventh largest aluminium smelter in the world by raising the production capacity of its Jebel Ali plant to 950,000 metric tonnes per annum

This follows the commissioning on Thursday 21 February of the second phase of the company's latest expansion project, which entailed a 32-pot, 22,000 mtpa extension of Potline 5, completed in July 2007; and a 40-pot, 40,000 mtpa extension of Potline 6.

The combined Potline 56b expansion project, completed at a cost of $236m, has brought the number of electrolytic aluminium reduction cells in the plant infrastructure to 1,557 pots, arranged in eight potlines.

Construction of this latest two-phased expansion project began in June 2006. A remarkable safety record of more than 7 million man-hours worked without any Lost Time Injuries was achieved over the 20-month period.

This is no mean feat, considering that more than 3,000 workers were on site at the peak of the construction phase.

Naturally, the increased capacity of the plant will contribute substantially to the turnover and profitability of DUBAL, to the future benefit of the economy of Dubai.

Already, the economy has benefited from the $135.7m spend on local suppliers during the course of the project, which equates to 58% of the total budget against a targeted spend of 40%.

The extension of Potline 6b represents a particular milestone in DUBAL's ongoing quest to develop advanced technologies which can compete with similar technologies on the world market in terms of productivity, capacity and efficiency, while maintaining the highest standards of environmental conservation.

The 40 new cells in Potline 6b incorporate DUBAL's proprietary DX technology, which operates at high amperage of more than 340,000 amperes to yield greater productivity of approximately 2.615 tonnes per cell per day (60.4% higher than the 1.630 tonnes per cell per day achieved using conventional reduction cell technologies).

DUBAL's DX technology is also 5.9% more energy efficient than earlier generation technologies, thus offering environmental advantages.

A team of 30 DUBAL employees worked on the Potline 6b expansion project, the majority from the Operations (86.7%) with the remainder representing the Technology Development department.

A number of UAE Nationals at senior level served on the project team, notably Abdulla Al Zarouni (Senior Process Engineer), Ali Yousif Darwesh (Operations Engineer) and Aisha Al Marzouqi (Assistant Development Engineer) from Technology Development; and Yousuf Ahli (Graduate Trainee) from Operations.

'DUBAL's additional production volume provides scope for the company to expand its customer base and grow its sales revenue,' comments DUBAL CEO, Abdulla Kalban. 'Accordingly, we're looking forward to another record-breaking year in 2008.'

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