The Bahraini government has approved a gas allocation for Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) that will see one of the region’s largest producers build a sixth potline.

The request was granted on the proviso that Alba works in conjunction with the Electricity & Water Authority (EWA) and the National Oil & Gas Authority (Noga) to establish the most productive use of the gas in terms of job and wealth creation for the Gulf state.

Alba has been planning a sixth potline for several years, but has been hindered due to a lack of gas. MEED reported in 2011 that a new potline, as well as carrying out an efficiency and debottlenecking programme at the Middle East’s oldest smelter, would add more than 400,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of capacity to its current output of 870,000 t/y.

Bahrain has several initiatives aimed at increasing gas supplies. These include the decommissioning of inefficient power stations, increased domestic gas exploration as well as the construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal.