Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) announced the launch of Phase 2 of Project Titan, its cost-reduction programme aimed at reducing cash costs by $100 per tonne of aluminium and stepping up production capacity to 1 million tonnes by the end of 2017.
Chief executive officer Tim Murray, remarked: “Given the tough market conditions, we believe we can do more than necessary and push ourselves in order to maintain our position as one of the leading low-cost producers in the aluminium industry. Through Project Titan phase 2, we seek to further improve our operational efficiency that will enable us to take advantage of the growth opportunities in the future.”
Alba has begun to conduct informal sessions for its employees where members of the executive management team elaborate on specific goals and expectations of Phase 2.
The company nearly reached its savings target under Titan’s first phase
The actual figure was $148 per tonne against the set target of $150 per tonne. The result of Project Titan-Phase 1 was measured against a baseline of 2013 actuals and focused mainly on creating a competitive and sustainable cost structure.
Murray said he was pleased with Titan’s overall success. “Through this project, we were able to leverage the use of our operational excellence as well as train and develop the next generation of leaders from within the company,” he said in a statement.
Directed by Murray, Project Titan’s first phase was a two-year efficiency programme that commenced in February 2014 with the aim of driving revenue growth and boosting profitability. It looked at ways to generate significant savings, a majority of which will be invested in projects that drive growth in strategic business areas.
Alba announced a total dividend of BD15.5 million ($41.3 million) for 2015, equivalent to 11 per cent of the nominal value of shares. The final dividend for the year, equivalent to BD7.8 million , will be payable from April 3 to shareholders.
The company was recently awarded the prestigious Brandon Hall Gold Medal in leadership development for its entry titled “Training Development Programmes and Leadership Practices 360 Feedback Process.”
Murray commented that the award reflected the company’s commitment to being at the forefront of training and development
Alba produces more than 960,000 tonnes annually, the products including standard and T-ingots, extrusion billets, rolling slab, properzi ingots, and molten aluminium. Capacity will rise significantly with the $3.5 billion Line 6 Expansion Project, expected to begin production by early 2019. The annual increase will be 540,000 tonnes, bringing total production capacity to around 1.5 million
tonnes per year.
Bechtel Canada completed the Bankable Feasibility study for the project in December 2014. Emirates Global Aluminium’s DX+ Ultra Technology is selected as the base for Line 6, while JP Morgan, Gulf International Bank (GIB) and National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) are the financial advisors for the project.
Line 6 will enhance the downstream industry by creating many co-investment opportunities through local and foreign aluminium investments. It will create hundreds of jobs, directly and indirectly, which will be a significant economic boost for Bahrain.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Alba hailed the contribution of its female staff at an event it held at the Alba Oasis Hall and at which the chief financial officer Ali Al Baqali and acting chief operations officer Amin Sultan were present along with the chairman of the Alba Labour Union Ali Al Binali and a representative of the Alba Trade Union Mohammed Musaed.
As part of the celebration, all women employees were presented with a gift, which expressed the company’s gratitude for their significant role in its success.
“Alba is happy to join the world in celebrating International Women’s Day, which provides an occasion to commemorate the achievements and contributions made by women towards the development and progress of society,” said Al Baqali.
“In Alba, women are equal stakeholders in the company’s growth and success. We are widely praised for the merit-based opportunities for women, and as a result, many of our women employees have reached senior, decision-making positions in the organisation. As we celebrate International Women’s Day, I applaud the role of our women employees who have raised Alba’s profile regionally and globally,” he added.
Alba currently has the maximum number of women employees in any industrial company in Bahrain.
They work in various departments across the plant including engineering, safety and health and environment. Many hold senior positions within the company including the designation of manager and are pivotal partners in key decision-making processes, the company said in a release.
In other developments, Alba welcomed an Indonesian parliamentary delegation headed by Asep Maoshul. A reception was held for the team at the company’s Al Dana Hall with Al Baqali, chief marketing officer Khalid Latif and Sultan in attendance.
The two sides discussed bilateral matters related to industry and commerce. “As one of the key pillars of Bahrain’s economy, it was a privilege for Alba to share its success story as well as promote the business friendly environment of Bahrain,” remarked Al Baqali.
The delegation visited Bahrain to meet with key industry leaders in order to promote cooperation in various fields.