Bahrain’s Gulf Aluminium Rolling Mill Company (Garmco) has pulled out of the proposed $350m aluminium rolling mill project at Sohar in Oman.

Adel Hamad, Garmco chief executive, confirms that his company has pulled out of the joint venture with Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (Adwea) and Takamul Investments, the investment arm of the state-owned Oman Oil Company.

GCC aluminium rolling mills 
Project Capacity Completion date
Adbic Abu Dhabi 500,000-t/y 2013
Maaden/Alcoa Saudi Arabia Up to 460,000-t/y 2013
Garmco/Takamul/Adwea  160,000 2013
t/y=Tonnes a year. Source: MEED

“The [Garmco] shareholders have opted not to participate in the Oman project,” Hamad says. “Takamul and Adwea will now go ahead with the project without our involvement.   

“The shareholders do not want to invest money outside of Bahrain and [Garmco] will now focus on expanding our existing rolling mill.”

Adel admits that the two proposed aluminium rolling mill projects, at Ras al-Zour in Saudi Arabia and Taweelah in Abu Dhabi also played a part in the decision.

“GCC countries are developing their own aluminium downstream strategies and Garmco has now got to concentrate on our Bahrain operations so we can improve on our own productivity and cost effectiveness,” Adel says.

The rolling mill in Oman is planned to be built next to the 360,000-t/y Sohar Aluminium smelter and will produce aluminium general coil, foil and paint stock products when completed.

Bids for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the plant have been in since February, but no decision has yet been made.The completion date was expected to be early 2013.

Both Takamul and Adwea were unavailable for comment when contacted by MEED as to what steps will be taken next.

Garmco’s decision to pull out of the project is the latest setback to hit the proposed metals park at Sohar. SAG Sohar, a joint venture between Austria’s Salzburger Aluminium and Takamul Investment went into receivership earlier this year. India’s Future Metals has also put its plans for a $50m 40,000-t/y deoxidised aluminium rod plant at Sohar on hold.

Garmco’s existing rolling mill in Bahrain is located next to the 830,000-t.y Aluminium Bahrain smelter and produces 160,000-t/y of aluminium sheet and coil to a global customer base.