Oman has the potential to become a major aluminium recycling centre servicing the industry across the GCC in the future, an industry leader has told delegates at the 15th Arabal conference in Oman.

Frederic Rouyer, the Chief Executive of Oman Aluminium Processing Industries (OAPIL) told delegates at the Sohar Aluminium-hosted event in Muscat about the huge untapped potential for the creation of a viable aluminium recycling industry in the Gulf.

He explained that the amount of aluminium scrap produced in the GCC during the downstream process was set to double to an estimated 270kt/y by 2020 as the Gulf becomes an increasingly centre of global importance for the industry. The GCC currently generates 138kt/y of scrap.

Mr Rouyer explained that recycling was a highly cost effective way to reinforce sustainability, was environmentally aware and can also help to generate new employment and economic growth.

He told delegates: “Recycling has huge benefits for future generations by preserving energy and natural resources and there is clearly a case for looking to develop a sophisticated aluminium recycling industry here in Oman that could benefit all of the GCC smelters.

“Compared with the production of primary aluminium, recycling of aluminium products needs as little as 5% of the energy and emits only 5% of the same amount of greenhouse gases as in conventional aluminium production.

"Recycling can be increased further by including an aluminium recycling plant with the downstream process.”

Investing in recycling in Oman would help with direct and indirect job creation for Omani nationals, support long-term sustainability in the region, help with community and social development and provide fresh education and training opportunities, added Mr Rouyer.

Oapil was established in 2007 and produces 50kt/y of aluminium products that include aluminium rods, alloy rods and overhead line conductors with plans to significantly increase production in the future.

A full review of Arabal will appear in the January/December 2012 issue of Aluminium International Today.