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Sohar Aluminum Smelter

A smelter in Oman features the world’s largest, most technically advanced potline.

Bechtel’s global reach, expertise on large projects, and leadership in the aluminum industry all contributed to the success of a new smelter in Oman that features the world's largest, most technically advanced potline.

The $1.4 billion project, undertaken for Sohar Aluminium, was completed on time and within budget, producing its first hot metal in June 2008.

With 360 pots (the next largest plant has 336), the smelter will be able to produce up to 386,000 tons (350,000 tonnes) of aluminum annually. In addition to the enormous potline, the project included construction of a carbon plant, a metal casting facility, and port facilities for storage and shipping.

Oman is located at the northeastern end of the Arabian Peninsula. The smelter sits just inland from the Gulf of Oman, halfway between Muscat and neighboring Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Bechtel provided engineering, procurement, and construction management services for the project. The company also provided construction services, building more than half the project on a direct-hire basis.

A unique feature of the project was the "omanization" program to train local workers in skills needed for the project. Bechtel trained nearly 750 Omanis to work as electricians, carpenters, and other skilled laborers. The trainees also learned computer and other skills to help them prepare for careers after the project.