Alba lines up bidders for expansion

09 November 2001

Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) is preparing to invite international companies to bid for contracts on its $1,700 million expansion project. The tender for the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract was expected to be issued following a meeting of the board of directors due to take place at the end of November. 'We have drawn up a list of international companies that are capable of taking on a job of this size,' said Bruce Hall, chief executive of Alba, in mid-November.

The project calls for the installation of a fifth potline that will increase the plant's capacity to 750,000 tonnes a year (t/y) from 510,000 t/y. New facilities will include a reduction line, carbon line and cast house.

The potline's energy needs are expected to come from the existing power plant, which will be expanded. A separate tender will be issued for the plant, covering the addition of an estimated 650 MW to Alba's 1,504-MW installed capacity. The expansion of the power station is expected to cost about $400 million. The UK's Mott MacDonaldis advising Alba on its power generation requirements (MEED 5:10:01).

The issue of tender documents will also attract the attention of the banking community. Export credit and conventional loans are expected to cover 90 per cent of the project's total finance requirement. Alba is one of several large-scale expansion and greenfield projects moving forward in the aluminium industry despite the slowdown in the world economy (see Cover Story).

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