Dubai-based Al-Braik Investments plans to build a AED638m ($178m) silicon metal smelter at Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad). Construction is expected to begin at the 316,413-square-metre site in 2013, with completion set for 2015.

The smelter will produce high-grade silicon, which is used as an alloying agent to improve the strength of wrought aluminium alloys. Aluminium producers in the GCC currently import high-grade silicon from outside the region.

An agreement was signed between the management of Al-Braik Investments and Abu Dhabi Ports Company (Adpc) at the CRU World Aluminium conference in Abu Dhabi on 1 May.

Demand for high-grade silica is set to rise in the GCC driven by the development of several new aluminium smelter projects.