Position: Industry & Commerce Minister
Biography: Hassan Fakhro was appointed as Industry & Commerce Minister in 2002 and helped negotiate Bahrain’s 2006 free trade agreement with the US. Fakhro began his career in the oil industry and in 1976 helped found Bahrain National Oil Company (Banoco), of which he later became chairman. Owned by the government, Banoco took a 60 per cent interest in Bahrain’s petroleum sector, previously controlled by the state-run Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco). Both companies were merged in 1990 to form an enlarged Bahrain Petroleum Company. Fakhro also helped set up Bahrain National Gas Company (Banagas) and Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company. Fakhro has led a range of industrial bodies, including the Bahrain Society of Engineers, and continues to advise King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa on economic affairs. He is an engineer and economist by training.
Contact Tel: (+973) 1756 8001
Mahmoud Hashim al-Kooheji
Position: Chairman, Aluminium Bahrain (Alba)
Biography: Appointed chairman of Alba in March 2008, Mahmoud Hashim al-Kooheji is also deputy chief executive officer (CEO) of Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (Mumtalakat), a sovereign wealth fund set up to manage government holdings in companies such as Alba. He is a prominent architect of the government’s privatisation programme and a former assistant undersecretary at the Finance Ministry. His arrival at Alba from Gulf Air heralded a restructuring of the organisation, which owns one of the world’s largest aluminium smelters. Part-owned by Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) and Germany’s Breton Investments, the Alba smelter produces 870,000 tonnes a year of high-grade aluminium, about 55 per cent of which is exported. Al-Kooheji’s arrival is thought by some industry observers to signal that the government is considering a future sale of at least part of its 77 per cent stake in the company.
Contact Tel: (+973) 1783 0000
Position: Acting CEO, Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco)
Biography: Faisal al-Mahroos took over as Bapco’s CEO in July following the retirement of Abdulkarim al-Sayed from the post. Like most senior executives at Bapco, he has risen through the ranks of the company. A petroleum engineer who obtained his degrees in Egypt and the US, Al-Mahroos joined Bapco in 1976, after training at the Gulf of Suez Oil Company, a 50:50 joint venture of the UK’s BP and The Egyptian General Petroleum Company. He was appointed deputy CEO for exploration and production in 2006. While the influence of Bapco has waned in recent years, it continues to be the main conduit for oil and gas in the kingdom, and supplies fuel and feedstock to local heavy industry and utilities. Bapco has also recast its role as one of the world’s most sophisticated refiners of oil, supplying high-grade diesel to Western markets.
Contact Tel: (+973) 1770 4040.
Abdulla Ahmed Nass
Position: Chairman, Nass Group
Biography: Abdulla Nass is one of Bahrain’s most prominent industrialists, the founder of civil construction group Nass, which has diversified into a broad range of activities that include pipeline construction and specialist shipyard services. He founded his business after returning to Bahrain in 1963 from Saudi Arabia, where he had spent 10 years as a contractor. The lack of specialist subcontractors and suppliers in Bahrain led Nass to set up his own network of companies, which have dominated the sector in the kingdom since the 1970s. Specialist companies dealing with shipping, food import, fertilisers and offshore rig services followed. Having monopolised much of the market at home, the Nass Group has been slow to expand beyond Bahrain. Yet Nass’s ability to tie the most remote industries back into its underlying construction business has given it a broad business base, which has buoyed it during the financial downturn.
Contact Tel: (+973) 1772 5522.
Sheikh Daij bin Salman bin Daij al-Khalifa
Position: Undersecretary for ports affairs, Finance Ministry
Biography: Sheikh Daij bin Salman bin Daij al-Khalifa oversees the connections between Bahrain’s industries and the outside world. He is chairman of the Arab Shipbuilding & Repair Yard Company, Bahrain Airport Company and the General Organisation of Sea Ports, and undersecretary for ports affairs at the Finance Ministry. As such, he was responsible for overseeing the development of Khalifa bin Salman Port in Hidd, which opened in April. He is currently overseeing the overhaul of the local transport system to allow faster access from Hidd by road to the Saudi mainland via the King Fahd Causeway, which links the two countries. Sheikh Daij was formerly president of customs at the Finance Ministry. He has a degree in international business from the University of Virginia in the US.
Contact Tel: (+973) 1735 9522
Abdul Rahman Jawahery
Position: CEO, Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company
Biography: Abdul Rahman Jawahery first joined Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (GPIC) in 1983, when the company was four years old. Now, owned jointly by the government of Bahrain, Sabic and Petrochemical Industries Company of Kuwait, GPIC is one of the oldest petrochemicals companies in the Gulf, producing 1.4 million tonnes a year of ammonia, urea and ethanol. Under Jawahery, the company has gradually moved downstream, producing fertilisers as well as raw petrochemical products. Although shortages of gas are currently hampering its expansion plans, in October Jawahery announced that GPIC was considering a $1bn expansion to its facilities. He is also the chairman of the technical committee for the International Fertiliser Association, and a board member of the Arab Fertiliser Association.
Contact Tel: (+973) 1773 1777
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