It started its first pot on 20 December and will eventually produce 585kt/y. It is based in Mesaieed, Qatar and is a JV between Norwegian company Norsk Hydro and Qatar Petroleum.

The plant will open new markets for Hydro and supply the Middle East, Asia and North America with 585kt/y. Hydro’s equity share is 290kt.

About 1100 people will work at the site. Total costs, including the establishment of the Qatalum organisation are $5.7bn. Hydro’s share of the investment is 50%. The site took 25 months to build.

According to the agreement, Hydro will bring all the products to the markets. Hydro is expanding its research and development presence in Qatar with a view to help push aluminium in the Middle East.

Hydro, which forayed into Qatar Science & Technology Park with a 45sqm ‘novice’ office, signed a new contract for expanding the space to 500sqm.

This is a huge step for Hydro’s research and development presence in Qatar, alongside its engagement in the Qatalum aluminium plant in Mesaieed, close to Doha.

Source: Gulf Times, Doha; 2 Jan 2010