The availability of relatively cheap gas has enabled GCC countries, with the exception of Kuwait, to build up capacity in the energy-intensive business of aluminium production. They have built some of the largest aluminium smelters in the world, mainly relying on dedicated combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants to provide electricity for the anodes used in the smelting process.

The region’s five aluminium producers – the UAE’s EGA, Bahrain’s Alba, Saudi Arabia’s Ma’aden, Qatar’s Qatalum and Oman’s Sohar Aluminium – have a total smelting capacity of almost 5mn t/y, with four of these firms operating power plants with combined capacity of over 10GW (see table). Staggeringly, this is larger than the total grid-linked powergen capacities for two GCC members: Oman with 8.19GW and Bahrain with 3.92GW. (CONTINUED - 807 WORDS)