The Qatalum aluminum smelter in Qatar is working to solve outbound logistical challenges after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut off transportation links and severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, shareholder Norsk Hydro said Tuesday.
Qatalum is a 50:50 joint venture between Hydro and Qatar Petroleum, and is capable of producing about 610,000 mt/year of primary aluminum. Its exports to Asia, Europe and the US mostly go through the UAE port of Jebel Ali.
However, Jebel Ali has been closed to all Qatar shipments from early Tuesday, Hydro said.
“Supported by owners Hydro and Qatar Petroleum, the Qatalum JV is currently working to find alternative shipment routes to enable it to continue to serve its global customers,” Hydro said.
Qatalum is also looking at alternative solutions for containerized inbound shipments such as fluoride and alloys, Hydro spokesman Erik Brynhildsbakken said. Due to current stockpiles, there is more time to find alternative solutions for these, he said. ALUMINA, OTHER INBOUND BULK SHIPMENTS UNAFFECTED
Other inbound raw materials including alumina, pet coke and pitch that are shipped in bulk, do not typically pass through a regional port in the Middle East. These inbound shipments therefore will not be affected, Brynhildsbakken also said.
The smelter sources alumina mostly from Australia and Brazil.