Sohar Aluminium Smelter Project Makes First ‘Hot Metal’

San Francisco, June 25, 2008—Bechtel today announced the Sohar Aluminium smelter in the Sultanate of Oman produced its first ‘hot metal.’ Bechtel provided engineering, procurement, construction, and construction management services for the $1.4 billion project, which features the world’s largest, most technologically advanced potline.

Located in Sohar, Oman, approximately 235 kilometers northwest of the capital Muscat, the greenfield project also included a carbon plant, an ingot metal casting facility, and a port facility for storage and ship loading and unloading.

“We are delighted to have completed the project on schedule and within budget,” says Project Manager Andy Cameron. “It has been a huge challenge in today’s hot construction climate, and is a testimony to the dedication and hard work of the Bechtel project team, our contractors, and owner, Sohar Aluminium.”

“As a team, we are extremely proud of our safety record. At the time of producing the first hot metal, we’ve worked almost 12 million consecutive, accident-free hours,” said Cameron. Goods and services for the project were procured from 28 different countries, with more than $300 million also being spent in the local Omani business community.

Bechtel was responsible for approximately 50 percent of the construction, and managed construction of the remainder. A key part of Bechtel’s construction program was the recruitment and training of more than 800 Omani craft workers. “Our training program was the largest of its type to date in Oman,” says Steve Pritchard, construction manager. “The decision to hire and train women was also new for Oman.”

Working for Bechtel has been the start of a career for many Omani craft workers, some of whom will work for the Sohar Aluminium operations team and other international construction companies.

Sohar Aluminium expects full production by December 2008.

About Bechtel
Bechtel is one of the world’s premier engineering, construction, and project management companies. Since its founding in 1898, Bechtel has worked on more than 22,000 projects in 140 countries. Today, our 42,500 employees are teamed with customers, partners, and suppliers on hundreds of projects in nearly 50 countries. For more information about Bechtel visit

About Sohar
Sohar Aluminium’s shareholders are Oman Oil Company, Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority, and Rio Tinto Alcan. The company was established in September 2004 to construct and operate a single AP35 potline aluminium smelter with an associated power plant. For more information about Sohar Aluminium Company, visit