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Manufacturing powers ahead

A strategic location at the centre of the Gulf. Significant long-term investment in facilities and logistics infrastructure.
These are just two reasons why manufacturing is still one of the strongest sectors of Bahrain’s economy, and why it continues to deliver solid performance – up 3.2% year-on-year in 2014 and 0.8% in Q1 2014 alone.
Four notable announcements during this quarter promise to boost growth further:
Aluminium Bahrain (ALBA), one of the world’s largest aluminium smelters, which produces over 912,000 metric tonnes of hot metal at 99.7% purity, is investing in ‘Potline’ 6 expansion. This will bring its annual capacity up to 1.3 million metric tonnes.
One of Alba’s major downstream customers, Gulf Aluminium Rolling Mill (GARMCO), already the region’s biggest rolling mill, is expanding in parallel. It is investing $50 million to boost its casting and scrap ‘re-melt’ facilities, which will add 120,000 metric tonnes casting capacity and create up to 80 jobs for Bahrainis.
As part of Bahrain’s ambition to double oil production by the end of the decade, Bahrain Petroleum (BAPCO) plans a $6 billion overhaul and extension of the Kingdom’s flagship refinery in Sitra. This will increase capacity by 90,000 barrels a day (b/d) and add further petroleum production, raising Bahrain’s total crude refining capacity to 360,000 b/d by 2018.
Spanish company Aiscan has chosen Bahrain to establish operations for ELCOS SPC which will produce 750,000 linear metres of insulation for pipes and electrical protection a day at its Baytik Industrial Oasis factory in Hidd.
Vivian Jamal, Executive Director of Business Development at the Economic Development Board, said: “This decision builds on the presence of international companies already operating in Bahrain, which are benefiting from the Kingdom’s trained bilingual workforce, relative low business costs, tried and tested regulations, and access to the largest market in the region.”