Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), one of the largest producers of the metal in the world, recorded a more than 50 per cent year-on-year rise in its third-quarter sales and production volumes thanks to the ramp up of its Line 6 expansion project.
Sales volume for the three months to the end of September climbed to 376,025 metric tonnes, a 51 per cent rise from a year earlier, the company said in a statement to the Bahrain Bourse, where its shares trade. The smelter’s production volume for the reporting period also increased by 53 per cent to 385,396 tonnes.
The company’s sales and production volumes for the nine-month period each rose 26 per cent, reaching 945,067 tonnes and 963,830 tonnes respectively.
“With the double-digit growth in our production and sales’ volume, we are set for a strong finish to 2019,” said Alba’s acting chief executive Ali Al Baqali.
“This year is proving to be transformational for Alba as we will produce 1,350,000 tonnes for the first-time in history and deliver Line 6 into commercial operations,” he said.
Alba’s Line 6 expansion will make it the world’s largest aluminium smelter, boosting its annual production by 540,000 tonnes to 1.5 million tonnes per year. The expansion project is one of the biggest brownfield developments in the Middle East, with a project cost of around $3 billion (Dh11bn).
The company revealed its quarterly and nine-month operational review ahead of its financial results, which it said will be released on October 27.
The company, majority owned by Bahrain sovereign wealth fund, Mumtalakat, swung to a second-quarter loss in the three months to June as global prices for the metal were driven lower by the imposition of tariffs on aluminium imports by the US and broader trade tensions.
It recorded a total comprehensive loss of 3.3 million Bahraini dinars (Dh32.2m) for the three months ending June 30, against total comprehensive income of 29.1m dinars in the corresponding period of 2018, it said in a July bourse filing.
Alba’s gross profit for the reporting period also slid to 15.4m dinars, more than halving from 34.4m dinars a year earlier. Total revenue of 245.1m dinars for the second quarter of this year, however, was slightly higher than the 244m dinars in the same period last year, it said at the time.