On December 20, the first cell in Qatalum started production of primary aluminium.
On time and on cost
"The commissioning of Qatalum on time and on cost is a great achievement, and a result of our 40 years of cooperation with Qatar and Qatar Petroleum. I am proud to announce that Norway's largest foreign onshore investment ever is now in operation," said Svein Richard Brandtzæg, President and CEO of Hydro.
Qatalum is being built in Mesaieed, Qatar, and is an equal joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and Hydro.
Strengthens Hydro's position
Brandtzæg underlines that Qatalum represents a significant strengthening of Hydro's position as one of the leading producers in the global aluminium industry.
"When Qatalum is at full production during next year, the plant will open new, markets for Hydro and supply the Middle East, Asia and North America with 585,000 tonnes on an annual basis," he says.
Hydro's equity share is 290,000 tonnes.
Praise for Projects team
Construction of Qatalum is managed by Hydro's project organization. The Hydro chief executive is full of praise for the efforts of the men and women in the Project team who, in cooperation with numerous international and local contractors and suppliers, have made this achievement.
Now an operating team soon to be around 1,100 is ready to start operations. Brandtzæg: "The commissioning of Qatalum is an important and pleasant bright spot in a challenging year. It will stand out as a milestone in Hydro's history.
Qatalum has been brought to completion on time in a region in the early stage marked by a globally unprecedented construction boom and then followed by a global financial crises. "In other words, it has been difficult, with a number of rocks to stay clear of. But today we can establish that we have navigated by them all," says Brandtzæg.
Short construction timeline
With the start-up the first cell in the Qatalum plant in Qatar, one of the largest and most modern primary aluminium plants has risen from the desert sands in just 25 months.
Total investment costs including establishment of the Qatalum organization are approximately $5.7 billion (NOK 33 billion). Hydro's share of the investment is 50 per cent.
According to the agreements, Hydro will bring all the products to the markets. Qatalum will now be a part of Hydro's global network as one of the most cost efficient plants anywhere.
At its peak, construction work at site employed more than 20,000 workers from all corners of the world. It has been executed with a remarkable safety record and with a support and service to the workers setting a new standard for projects in the Middle East.
"This is cutting-edge technology, developed in Norway by Hydro's facilities and in cooperation with the Norwegian aluminium cluster. The commissioning of this great plant is an achievement for Hydro - for Norway and for Norwegian technology as well as for Qatar Petroleum and Qatar," says Brandtzæg.