Posted on September 10, 2015

On the 9 September, 4 representatives from the Saudi Ma’aden smelter visited Qatalum. They were equally represented by their respective operations and procurement departments to technically evaluate the relining contractor STAREF presently undertaking Qatalum’s relining process.

In the spirit of Qatalum’s value of transparency and cooperation, led by the Procurement department, the visit was approved by both the CEO and COO, however with limited disclosure: Hydro’s patented technology exposed in the relining process was industrially sensitive and therefore out of bounds. Therefore, following the office based meetings excluding STAREF, the tour was restricted to a drive-through in a bus, nevertheless sufficient in giving the visitors an overall impression and adequate understanding of the Qatalum Relining Plant.

Prior to the tour, the meetings held in Administration building focussed on the contractor STAREF who are being highly considered for the Ma’aden relining and carbon maintenance contracts currently under the bidding process. Qatalum were direct in its disclosure about the pros and cons of working with STAREF and are overall, very happy with their progress. Davy Fosen, Relining Manager at Qatalum highlighted STAREF’s competence in his presentation to the visitors which illustrated the successful progress of the relining project.

Relining opens doors to [].jpgDavy included the timeline consisting of plan versus actual progress showing that number of pots is as per plan, and KPI target for number of hours to be used for each pot exchange has been met. Additionally, a chart showed that man hours and material costs in pot-shell repair was within budget and sometimes below, signifying the contractor’s aptitude to deliver within the planned cost. Pot-shell repair is the only process not based on fixed price in the Relining Service Contract, as STAREF is paid on fixed man-hour rates and materials at cost plus.

The take home for Ma’aden was enormous, firstly by the transparency shown by Qatalum in its willingness to share both process and time. Secondly, the knowledge gained by Ma’aden, about the contractor and relining project should allow for a smoother project process in Saudi Arabia, in turn saving them millions in correct execution.