Bahrain Aluminium Extrusion Company (Balexco)is considering setting up a new integrated plant at Jizan, in southern Saudi Arabia, replacing an earlier plan to build the facility in Yemen. Furthest advanced among Balexco's expansion plans is a plant in Doha's new industrial area (MEED 16:4:04).
'The Saudi project would take over the role of the proposed Yemeni plant, supplying the African market,' says Balexco general manager Ali al-Abassi. 'It will be an integrated plant - with extrusion presses, anodising lines and power-coating facilities - because the markets into which the output will be sold don't have finishing capabilities.' The facility will have capacity of 7,000-8,000 tonnes a year (t/y). Final agreements remain to be put in place for the Qatari plant, which is a joint venture between Balexco with 49 per cent and Qatar Islamic Bankwith 51 per cent. A consultant has been selected internally but the award is on hold. The proposed plant will also have capacity of 7,000-8,000 t/y. 'At the moment it is a challenge just making our Bahraini operations profitable,' says Al-Abassi. 'High aluminium prices are hurting us badly.' The company's Sitra plant has capacity of 25,000 t/y.
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