Manama: Construction work on a $55 million capacity expansion project at Bahrain-based Gulf Aluminium Rolling Mill Company (Garmco) is set to begin in March with completion expected by November next year, it has emerged.
Operating since 1981, Garmco is one the largest downstream aluminium facilities in the Gulf region producing flat rolled aluminium products in various sizes and alloys, coils and foil.
Alba is a fundamental part of Garmco’s supply chain and supplies the bulk of its raw material needs.
The $450m annual turnover company is now looking to boost its re-melt and casting facilities in parallel with Alba’s $3.5 billion potline 6 expansion.
Garmco broke ground last Thursday in the presence of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed Al Zayani, French Foreign Trade Minister Matthias Fekl and key officials to start the implementation of an EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) turn-key contract awarded last year to Fives, a French industrial engineering group.
Officials said the new state-of-the-art casthouse will boost Garmco’s casting capacity by 120,000 tonnes while enhancing its metal recycling capability and lowering metal casting costs.
Its current annual capacity is 165,000 tonnes and a third of the raw material requirements are met through the re-melt of scrap materials.
Garmco’s chief executive Jean-Baptiste Lucas said the re-melt expansion project was central to the company’s entire operations and in line with its strategy “to become a regional leader in aluminium recycling”.
“Importantly, it will create 50 new jobs, further bolstering Garmco’s position as a sizeable employer in the kingdom, and generate significant economic benefits,” he said.
The company has one of the highest levels of localisation, with Bahrainis making up more than 85 per cent of the workforce.
“More than 700 families depend on Garmco and our contribution to the economy lies not only in the creation of jobs for Bahraini employees, but also in our use of the multiple local suppliers and services provided within the kingdom,” added Mr Lucas.
In November last year, Garmco signed a new gas supply agreement with Bapco, under which it will get 4.5m standard cubic metres of gas per day, a pre-requisite for the expansion.
A preliminary stage of the project, consisting of the construction of a scrap storage area and segregation unit, is complete said Garmco adding that it was managed internally with the support of a local supplier.
The project is financed by Bahrain’s largest lender, Ahli United Bank.