The two other planned shareholders on the project, Oman Oil Company (OOC)and Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA), say that the project will go ahead with or without Alcan’s participation. However, it is also understood that the companies have commissioned a new detailed feasibility study from Canada’s SNC Lavalin to look into a smaller project, covering a 330,000-tonne-a-year (t/y) smelter with a 600-MW captive power plant. If the smaller option is pursued, then Alcan could still participate as a technology supplier, even if it decides against putting equity in. The original plan called for the construction of a 500,000-t/y smelter and a 1,100-MW power plant at a total cost of $2,100 million.

Once the investment decision is taken, the project promoters are looking to move ahead with the scheme quickly. Discussions have already taken place with engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors, in anticipation of the EPC tender being issued in the first quarter of 2004.