‘We are also going to go out for the FEED [front-end engineering and design] in three-four weeks and award the environmental assessment impact (EIA) study contract over the next month.’

Sholy said that under the project schedule, the award of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract will take place in mid-2004 to coincide with financial close. First metal is due in late 2006.

A new company, Doha Aluminium Company (Dohal), is currently being registered to implement the scheme, which calls in the first phase for the construction of a 516,000-tonne-a-year (t/y) smelter with a captive power plant of about 1,100 MW (MEED 30:5:03).