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Minister Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed is flanked by Al Kooheji (right) and Janahi at the air show

Minister Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed is flanked by Al Kooheji (right) and Janahi at the air show



Alba sales touch new high

February 2014

ALUMINIUM Bahrain (Alba) announced it achieved total sales of 919,722 tonnes in 2013, a 3.3 per cent increase over the previous year.

The company also indicated it is moving closer to the million-tonne output mark having registered 912,700 tonnes, a 2.5 per cent climb over the previous year.

Q4 2013 sales were 237,534 tonnes, up 5.2 per cent over the same period in 2012, while production increased by 2,912 tonnes to reach 229,916 tonnes.

Additionally, Alba closed 2013 with value-added (VA) sales averaging 66 per cent versus 65 per cent in the previous year. VA sales for Q4 represented 66 per cent of the total shipments compared with 64 per cent in the same period of 2012.

Chief executive Tim Murray commented:  “Alba continues to raise the bar and was able to deliver stretch targets amid tough market conditions. As we move towards 2014, we remain committed to always finding ways to further improve our underlining performance and plant reliability.”

Established in 1971 as a 120,000 tonnes per year smelter, it now produces aluminium of the highest grade  with products including  standard and T-ingots, extrusion billets, rolling slab, properzi ingots, and molten aluminium.

Alba is listed on both the Bahrain bourse and the London Stock Exchange, and shareholders are Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (69.38 per cent), Sabic Investment Company (20.62 per cent) and the general public (10 per cent).

Meanwhile, the company announced it had reached a settlement agreement with Torvald Klaveness Shipping, whereby each party agreed to waive their respective legal claims. They agreed to enter into a new long-term commercial freight contract for the delivery of alumina to Alba by Cabu Chartering AS (a subsidiary of Klaveness).

Klaveness had filed an arbitration claim against Alba in London and the smelter had filed a civil claim against Klaveness in Norway.

The Alba smelter: fast moving into the million-tonne club

Commenting on the settlement and new contract, chairman of Alba’s board of directors, Mahmood Hashim Al Kooheji, said: “We are pleased to have reached a settlement with Klaveness and resume normal business relations. Klaveness had been a major freight carrier for Alba in the past and is a well-respected shipping company in the industry. We welcome them back as one of our key freight carriers for alumina.”

In pursuance of its drive to achieve maximum work safety, Alba held a three-day HSE event under the theme “Know Safety, No Injury”. The event focused on occupational safety through various activities that included safety talks, medical checks, safety films and safety tours.

Present at the opening of the event were Murray, chief marketing officer Jean Baptiste Lucas, chief financial officer Ali Al Baqali, chairman of the Alba Labour Union, Ali Al Binali, and the manager of sales and marketing, Amal A Rahman Ahmed.

“Alba continues to remain focussed on strengthening the culture of safety at work through various activities and programmes. The marketing department’s HSE Week displayed their commitment and enthusiasm in promoting a safe working culture,” said Lucas.

Alba maintains safety awareness campaigns throughout the year, and this is accomplished through the weekly safety hours, a safety talk before each shift, the annual HSE Week for all the departments, and the individual department-led HSE Week.

 

AIR SHOW

Alba was the platinum sponsor for one of kingdom’s most significant events – the Bahrain International Air Show 2014 - held from January 16 – 18 at the Sakhir Airbase.

Organised under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Alba’s support for the event highlighted its confidence in Bahrain as a key hub for the global aviation industry.

Alba had access to a dedicated luxury hospitality chalet that offered excellent opportunities for viewing state-of-the-art aircraft on display. It hosted meetings with present and potential clients.

Commenting on Alba’s participation at the Bahrain International Air Show 2014, chairman Al Kooheji said: “Alba is proud to support this prominent event, which raises Bahrain’s profile at an international level and adds value to the kingdom’s aviation sector. We are confident that this year’s Bahrain International Air Show will be as successful as its predecessor, and open up vast business opportunities for the aviation industry,” Al Kooheji stated.

Minister of Transportation and acting chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed met Al Kooheji and other Alba officials including the acting director for administration Abdul Rahman Jahahi at the air show.

 

TOWN HALL MEETINGS

An interesting development of recent weeks was the staging of Alba town hall meeting at the Oasis Hall for all its employees.

They aimed to update employees on Alba’s 2013 performance and the expectations for 2014 through presentations and interactive sessions.

“The purpose of town hall meetings is to communicate Alba’s performance in a simple and transparent manner,” said Murray. “Alba had a major achievement in terms of operational performance exceeding 900,000 tonnes for the first time in its 40-year history (912,700 tonnes). In 2013, we also had a major upgrade in the safety culture for which I thank all our employees as well as the Alba Labour Union for their support. In 2014, we will continue to face challenging conditions with low LME prices and we will remain committed to drive operational excellence to the maximum.”

The town hall meetings took place throughout January and covered all employees of Alba. The meetings were coordinated to ensure that all departments and shifts were covered. It highlighted various areas including the 2013 operational performance, the Capital Expenditure Plan, goals for the coming year, and the Project Titan cost improvement programme.




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