With the GCC nations becoming a major player in the international aluminium industry, new investments in the Gulf’s aluminium sector is expected to exceed $20 billion by 2020, a senior Government Minister said.
Dr Hassan Abdulla Fakhro, the Minister of Industry and Commerce, who opened three-day the 25th International Aluminium Conference in Bahrain, said that the aluminium industry in the region was expected to see a large increase over the next decade, with production expected to triple to nine million tonnes annually by 2020, or around 13 per cent of the world market, compared to 2.15 million tones in 2008.
“The aluminium industry has been directly affected for sure by the financial crisis, since the metal is used in a wide variety of consumer products from packaging to automobiles, from construction to aerospace,” he said.
Bahrain, he said, over the past few decades has built a most diversified economy in the region, with manufacturing contributing over 17 per cent of the GDP.
“The manufacturing sector is one of the fastest growing segments of the economy, and is driven by the growth in oil-related and aluminium-based industries, which dominate this sector. The Aluminum industry is a major contributor to growth, and with Aluminium Bahrain (ALBA) being the largest one aluminum smelter in the world, a strong and vibrant downstream industry has emerged,” he said.
“Industrial development and diversification is a key focus of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s Vision 2030, designed to create a sustainable economy to support the aspirations of the nation towards a higher standard of living for its entire people and for the generations to come. Along this road to industrial diversification, we are building a world class industrial infrastructure, at its core is the Salman Industrial City which His Majesty inaugurated recently, an holistic development located in close proximity to the main transport artery, and is a manifestation of the Kingdom’s industrial policy initiatives, comprising the established Hidd Industrial Area, home to 30 of Bahrain’s most significant industries together with two new landmark developments Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP), and Bahrain Investment Wharf (BIW). The Bahrain International Investment Park is built to the highest international standards, consists of 2,500,00m2 and is designed to attract export oriented companies with high value projects.
The BIW, is the $1.6 billion development of the Private Sector Tameer Co. and is the currently the largest mixed used industrial development of its kind and size in Bahrain. Covering an area of over 1.7 million square meters, this groundbreaking project is a mixture of industrial, logistics, business, commercial and accommodation development and is the only privately owned, operated and managed park of its kind in Bahrain. It offers investors pre-serviced plots supported by state of the art infrastructure, communication links and world class services, and consists of 415 acres incorporating 164 individual plots, all adjacent to the Bahrain International Airport and the Logistics Park.
“We have achieved a great deal in our industrial development, however we recognize that there is no room for complacency and accordingly as per the vision and the guidance of HM the King we are currently laying plans for a massive new development which will complement the existing industrial infrastructure, and project the nation to a whole new level of economic development,” he said.
“Whilst yet at an early stage in the planning process, the project will have an enormous impact on Bahrain’s industrial and commercial infrastructure, through an integrated facility offering, for manufacturing and services companies, and provide a lifestyle element which will be attractive to investors from across the globe,” he added.