• Alba set to become world’s largest single-site smelter complex
  • Main contract tender could be float by end of 2015
  • Alba appoints three banks as financial advisors

Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) says it has been granted environmental permission to add a sixth potline at its smelter complex.

The expansion will make Alba’s complex the largest single-site smelter in the world upon its completion.

Environmental permission was granted based on detailed environment and social impact assessments carried out by the project’s team and a “competent consultant”, according to the company.

Alba’s CEO Tim Murray said that the permit “reaffirms the commitment and support of the Government of Bahrain towards this landmark project”.

The project will cost an estimated $3.5bn and will add an additional 514,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of capacity, meaning Alba will ramp up production to 1.45 million t/y.

The scheme will represent the largest heavy industry project ever witnessed in Bahrain and will add to an aluminium industry that already represents about 10 per cent of Bahrain’s GDP.

Alba expects the expanded facility to start production in 2019 with engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) tenders expected to be floated later this year. Construction will have to start on the project in 2016 for the scheme to meet its 2019 target for completion.

The company has appointed JP Morgan, Gulf International Bank and National Bank of Bahrain as financial advisers on the project.